New Foreign Direct Investment in the U.S. Declined Last Year

Expenditures by foreign direct investors to acquire, establish, or expand U.S. businesses totaled $259.6 billion in 2017, according to the government’s Bureau of Economic Analysis. This represented a big drop from previous years.

Expenditures were down 32 percent from $379.7 billion (revised) in 2016 and were below the annual average of $359.9 billion for 2014-2016.

As in previous years, acquisitions of existing businesses accounted for a large majority of total expenditures.

In 2017, expenditures for acquisitions were $253.2 billion, expenditures to establish new U.S. businesses were $4.1 billion, and expenditures to expand existing foreign-owned businesses were $2.4 billion.

Planned total expenditures, which include both first-year and planned future expenditures until completion for projects initiated in 2017, were $278.0 billion.

By country of ultimate beneficial owner (UBO), a small number of countries accounted for most of the investment.

The largest investing country was Canada, with expenditures of $66.2 billion, followed by the United Kingdom ($40.9 billion), Japan ($34.0 billion), and France ($23.1 billion). By region, Europe contributed 40 percent of the new investment in 2017.

By U.S. state, the largest expenditures were in California ($41.6 billion), Texas ($39.7 billion), and Illinois ($26.0 billion).

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