Survey Findings Underscore the Importance of Global Connections for America’s Economic Recovery

May 11, 2020

More US Trade ‘Protectionism’ Viewed as a Likely Outcome of the Pandemic

WASHINGTON – The Global Business Alliance (formerly known as OFII) today released the findings of its latest Inbound Investment Survey. This survey provides keen insights from top executives of international companies on the health of the U.S. business climate. These executives of international companies with significant operations in the United States offer a unique perspective on U.S. economic competitiveness.

“This survey shows that international companies are creating resilience within the U.S. economy during this unprecedented pandemic,” says Nancy McLernon, president and CEO of the Global Business Alliance. “While an overwhelming number of our members indicate they’ve been moderately or significantly impacted, a majority of these major U.S. employers say they expect to maintain their employment levels over the next six months.”

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However, more than three-quarters (77%) of respondents say they are concerned that the United States will become more protectionist in terms of cross-border M&A, trade and government procurement as a result of the pandemic. Two-in-five companies (44%) expect there will be corporate consolidation in their industry.

“[Protectionism] was the trend before the COVID-19 pandemic,” says one respondent, a U.S. chief financial officer. “The crisis accelerates and gives further political justification for that shift.”

Manufacturers are particularly concerned about the potential protectionist outcome.

“Unfortunately, I do believe the U.S. will continue down a ‘Buy American’ route even though this pandemic has shown that we are inextricably connected across the world,” offers a senior executive of a major U.S. manufacturing company.

While most respondents say their company is still evaluating the long-term corporate impact of the pandemic, nearly one-third already plan to diversify their global supply chains even further, and 15 percent indicate their company will become less reliant on Chinese suppliers as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.

On average, GBA members anticipate it will take nearly 14 months for their company to financially recover from the pandemic. Critically, that recovery rate is 57 percent faster than the time they think it will take the U.S. economy as a whole to recover, and nearly twice as fast as global economy overall.

“America’s economic success was built, in part, by welcoming international companies to invest and create jobs here,” adds Ms. McLernon. “Before the health crisis, these companies employed 7.4 million Americans. And today’s findings show that international companies are well-positioned to jumpstart America’s economic recovery – as long as politics doesn’t make our long-standing global competitiveness a casualty of the pandemic.”

Review the full survey and learn more at

About the Global Business Alliance

As the premier voice of international companies in the United States, the Global Business Alliance (GBA) actively promotes and defends an open economy that welcomes international companies to invest in America. Our members are American companies with global heritage and an indispensable part of our nation’s economic success. When America is open for business, we all benefit. Learn more about how international companies are benefiting U.S. workers and communities by visiting