Recently, a growing number of articles in the media have noted U.S. corporations announcing that they intend to move their headquarters overseas. This practice is known as a corporate inversion, which occurs when a U.S. corporation that is currently the ultimate owner of its worldwide operations takes steps to become a wholly owned subsidiary of a foreign corporation.
The Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) has published a BEA Briefing in the Survey of Current Business that discusses how corporate inversions can affect major aggregates in the international and national economic accounts, including an estimate of the size of the impact of inversions on related BEA statistics.
Below are some highlights from the Briefing. For the full analysis and to view the impact of inversions on activities of multinational enterprises (AMNE) statistics see the BEA Briefing.
- The foreign direct investment position in the United States—which comprises the direct investors’ equity in, and net outstanding loans to, their U.S. affiliates—generally increases after an inversion because the inverting U.S. corporation becomes an asset of a foreign investor.
- The measures of multinational enterprise activities—which include data items such as employment, capital expenditures, value added, and research and development (R&D) expenditures—also generally increase as a result of inversions.
- Corporate inversions may also affect BEA’s U.S. direct investment abroad, or outward direct investment, statistics if the U.S. multinational enterprise transfers the ownership of some or all of its foreign affiliates to its new foreign owner.
- Corporate inversions would generally reduce gross national income, that is, income resulting from the current production of goods and services by U.S.-owned labor and capital.
- Corporate profits, the portion of the total gross national income earned from current production that is accounted for by U.S. corporations, would also generally be reduced by inversions.
Gross domestic income, which is income resulting from the current production of goods and services in the domestic economy, would not be affected by inversions.
Real gross domestic product (GDP) increased at an annual rate of 5.0 percent in the third quarter of 2014, reflecting positive contributions from 20 of 22 industry groups. The private goods- and services-producing industries, as well as the government sector, contributed to the increase.
- The leading contributors to the increase were finance and insurance; mining; and real estate and rental and leasing.
- Finance and insurance real value added increased 21.2 percent in the third quarter, after increasing 6.0 percent.
- Mining increased 25.6 percent, after increasing 11.5 percent.
- Real estate and rental and leasing increased 4.4 percent, after increasing 0.9 percent.
Read the full report.
Are you looking for statistics on new investment by foreign companies in the United States? The Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) has you covered. New statistics slated to be unveiled later this year will provide information on things like when a foreign company launches a new business in this country or expands an existing one by building a new plant.
The new data will give foreign entrepreneurs even more tools to make informed decisions about investing and hiring in the United States. The new statistics also will help guide national policy and state programs that aim to attract foreign direct investment and improve job opportunities in the United States.
The new statistics provide information on “greenfield” investment – investment that occurs when a foreign firm establishes a new U.S. business or expands an existing one by building a new plant or facility. The statistics also cover the acquisition of U.S. businesses by foreign companies.
BEA rolled out a new survey near the end of 2014 that lays the ground work to produce these new statistics. (BEA previously collected similar new investment information, but that survey was discontinued in 2008 due to budget constraints.)
Already, BEA is the go-to source for information about foreign direct investment in the United States:
- In June, we released data showing that the cumulative value of foreign direct investment in the United States rose to $2.8 trillion in 2013, from $2.6 trillion in 2012.
- In July, we released comprehensive data on direct investment, financial transactions, equity, debt instruments, reinvestment of earnings, and income for selected countries and industries. The statistics released in July also include direct investment positions, financial transactions, and income for all countries and industries.
- In November, we released data on the activities of U.S. affiliates of foreign multinational companies in 2012, including employment, sales, R&D expenditures, capital expenditures, and more.
BEA’s suite of investment statistics provides an important way for businesses and policymakers to track foreigners’ desire to invest and strengthen job opportunities in the United States. Expanding the U.S. economy through inward foreign investment that leads to more and better American jobs is critical – and it is one of the Commerce Department’s strategic goals.
SelectUSA is the U.S. government-wide program, housed within the U.S. Department of Commerce, to facilitate such investment into the United States. SelectUSA is hosting the second SelectUSA Investment Summit in the Washington, D.C. area on March 23-24, 2015! Investors will find the practical tools, information and connections they need to establish or expand operations in the United States.