Americans have long been ambivalent toward foreign direct investment in the United States. Foreign multinational corporations may be a source of capital, technology, and jobs. But what are the implications for US workers, firms, communities, and consumers as the United States remains the most popular destination for foreign multinational investment?
Theodore H. Moran and Lindsay Oldenski find that foreign multinational firms that invest in the United States are, alongside US-headquartered American multinationals, the most productive and highest-paying segment of the US economy. These firms conduct more research and development, provide more value added to US domestic inputs, and export more goods and services than other firms in the US economy. The superior technology and management techniques they employ spill over horizontally and vertically to improve the performance of local firms and workers. As the United States wants not only to expand employment but also create well-paying jobs that reverse the falling earnings that many US workers and middle class families have suffered in recent decades, it is more important than ever to enhance the United States as a destination for multinational investors.
About the Author
Theodore H. Moran, nonresident senior fellow, has been associated with the Peterson Institute since 1998. He holds the Marcus Wallenberg Chair at the School of Foreign Service in Georgetown University. He is the founder of the Landegger Program in International Business Diplomacy at the university and serves as director there. He also serves as a member of Huawei's International Advisory Council. From 2007 to 2013 he served as Associate to the US National Intelligence Council on international business issues.
Lindsay Oldenski, nonresident senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics since December 2013, is an associate professor of international economics at Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service. Prior to joining the Georgetown faculty, Oldenski taught at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies and California State University, San Marcos. She has also worked as an economist at the US Department of Treasury, an analyst at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, and a consultant in the biotech industry.