The Importance of U.S. Manufacturing

36. Foreign Investment in U.S. Manufacturing Grows

The United States is an attractive place to do business, and foreign business leaders vote with their feet when they set up shop here. U.S. affiliates of foreign industrial companies hold $838 billion worth of investments, with a clear upward trend over several decades.

FDI in America’s manufacturing pays well for investors, employees, and government alike. Rates of return are high because supplier networks, logistics, and the legal environment all contribute to ease of conducting business. About 1.68 million Americans are directly employed by foreign-owned manufacturing firms.

Foreign capital enlarges exports, employment, and the tax base. Foreign companies bring along their know-how, technology, and innovation, all of which enrich the domestic economy both directly and indirectly. Direct investments—both in and out of the country—are win-win propositions.

To Trade and Investment


The U.S. Is the #3 Manufacturing Exporter


The U.S. Is Losing Export Market Share


U.S. Manufacturing Exports to 238 Countries


Manufacturing Still Dominates U.S. Exports, But Its Share Is Declining


U.S. Manufacturers Invest Primarily in High-Wage Countries


Foreign Investment in U.S. Manufacturing Grows


Foreign Companies Are Important to U.S. Manufacturing