OFII CFO Survey Shows ‘Business Optimism Stalls Amid Growing Trade Uncertainty’

November 14, 2018

WASHINGTON – Nancy McLernon, president and CEO of the Organization for International Investment (OFII), issued the following statement in releasing the findings of OFII’s latest CFO Inbound Investment Survey:

“The biggest takeaway from this survey is that the Administration’s trade policies are generating significant concerns for international companies that have major operations in the United States. International companies employ over seven million U.S. workers, offering wages and benefits that average more than $81,000, and export over $1 billion of goods a day to customers around the world. If the Administration imposes bygone industrial policy in the automotive sector under the pretext of national security, this survey shows real concern that similar action could creep into every corner of our economy. That will invite retaliation from our trading partners, limit opportunities for U.S. workers, raise prices for families and harm America’s economic competitiveness.”

According to the survey, CFOs indicate that the largest threat to U.S. competitiveness is the potential tariffs resulting from the Sec. 232 automotive import investigation. That finding is surprising, given that more than 40 percent of CFOs say that their company has been directly harmed by the steel and aluminum tariffs and/or the Chinese tariffs already in effect.

International companies provide 43 percent of the motor vehicles and parts industry jobs in the United States, according to government data. 

See the full findings of the CFO Inbound Investment Survey on OFII’s website: www.ofii.org/CFOsurvey.