When international companies establish operations and immerse themselves in the communities they have adopted, they stimulate local commerce and drive demand for more homes, shops, schools and restaurants. They expand the tax base and contribute charitably to schools, local parks, and partake in community causes and local culture, which all helps to allure new economic activity to the region (see Table 2). This ripple effect helps explain why governors, mayors and economic development officials are so eager for foreign direct investment.
International companies appear to be carrying a larger load of the tax burden than the average U.S. private sector company—an 11.6 percent higher effective rate than the domestic rate. They also account for an outsized and growing share of all corporate charitable giving.
Between 2001 and 2013, international companies:
- Increased their tax payments from $21.7 billion to $50.1 billion, or by 87.4 percent in real terms.
- Increased their charitable contributions from $960 million to $2.6 billion, or by 122.9 percent in real terms.
In the manufacturing sector, international companies are even bigger contributors than the manufacturing-sector average.
From 2001 to 2013 international manufacturers:
- Increased their tax payments from $8.9 billion to $18.6 billion, or by 72.2 percent in real terms.
- Increased their charitable contributions from $503 million to $1.6 billion, or by 163.6 percent in real terms.
- Saw their effective tax rate premium increase from 25.2 percent higher than the manufacturing sector average to 35.8 percent higher.
International companies form a critical part of America’s economic bedrock—providing a stable foundation of excellence that strengthens our economy and supports our workforce.