The US is open for business
The US and the UK enjoy an unparalleled partnership in trade and investment. Dorothy L. Lutter, Minister Counsellor for Commercial Affairs, US Embassy, London and Aaron Brickman, Director, Invest in America, Washington DC, discuss the importance of the trade and investment relationship between the US and the UK and highlight the US Department of Commerce’s “Invest in America” programme.
In 2008, the most recent year for which there are figures, our partnership in investment, measured by our bilateral investment stock, was valued at $875 billion. US direct investment in the UK was valued at nearly $421 billion, representing over 13 per cent of all US foreign direct investment (FDI) around the globe and 28 per cent of all FDI in the UK. UK direct investment in the US was valued at more than $454 billion, representing approximately 20 per cent of all FDI in the US. Over the years, over two million jobs, about one million in each country, have been created to manage and drive this flow of investment which also fuels our important trading relationship.
Our total bilateral trade in goods and services is valued over $200 billion annually. However, with the effects of the financial crisis, our trade in goods alone decreased by 17 per cent in 2009. As our economies continue to recover, concerted efforts to strengthen business ties between the US and the UK are more important than ever to keep the momentum of trade and investment moving forward.
In that spirit, the US Department of Commerce actively lends its ongoing support for the “Invest in America” (IIA) programme in order to promote the United States as a leading destination for FDI and to underscore the message that the US is open to investment. The IIA programme serves an “ombudsman” role by facilitating policies that favour investment as well as providing federal level promotional support for the individual states’ efforts to attract business investment.
For example, in February 2010, IIA Director Aaron Brickman delivered remarks at an “Invest in America” seminar in Edinburgh that was coordinated by the US Consulate in Edinburgh, the US Commercial Service in London, and the Scottish North American Business Council. The US Commercial Service in London and the Council of American States in Europe (CASE) are working together with other organisations to coordinate a series of “Invest in America” seminars to take place in the UK this fall.
The seminars will take place in Leeds on Tuesday, 28 September, and in Birmingham on Wednesday, 29 September, and will be a key opportunity for UK business representatives to learn from experts in the field of investment and to meet one-on-one with representatives from a number of US states that are interested in attracting investment from UK companies. For more information, please refer to CASE’s website (www.invest-in-usa.org).
With strong productivity, a large consumer market, a flexible labour market, and an open business climate, the United States will continue to be the most attractive destination in the world for foreign direct investment. The US accounts for 40 per cent of total research and development expenditures in the world, and US companies are leaders in technological advances and innovation. The US will remain open to new ideas, new products, and new technologies from around the world. There are countless cities and towns across the US ready to do business with you. We hope that this guide will be of benefit to you as you explore new investment opportunities in the US.
For more information on the US Commercial Service of the US Embassy in London, please refer to (www.buyusa.gov/uk) and to www.investamerica.gov for more information on the “Invest in America” programme, including a list of key investment contacts for every US state.