Foreign Direct Investment in the United States, Preliminary 2nd Quarter 2017

September 19, 2017

FDI Q2 2017

Second-quarter 2017 foreign direct investment flows in the United States were slightly below average for the past few years at $75 billion, following record-breaking years in 2015 and 2016. FDIUS for both years approached nearly half a trillion dollars. Investments by international companies in the United States beat the previous records of $320 billion and $318 billion during the prosperous years of 2000 and 2008.

These investments benefit the American economy as international firms build new factories across the United States, buoy their well established U.S. operations, fund American research and development activities, and employ more than 6.8 million Americans in well-paying jobs. 

While inward foreign direct investment flows in 2016 were good for the United States, worldwide, global inward FDI dropped two percent to $1.75 trillion. In its 2017 World Investment Report, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) projected a ‘modest recovery’ in global FDI flows in 2017-2018. 

Looking at foreign direct investment more broadly, foreign companies invest in the United States for many reasons. A list of positive factors include the large U.S. market, world-class research universities, a stable regulatory regime, and a solid infrastructure that allows businesses to easily access the U.S. market. For certain foreign investors, the United States has become an important global export platform. Good domestic energy resources and low energy prices also draw foreign investors to the United States.