Equity investment in and out of the U.S. is booming, according to the latest Bureau of Economic Analysis report. The research division of the U.S. Department of Commerce said foreign direct investments made into the U.S. rose by more than $260 billion to $4 trillion, by the end of 2017, from $3.8 trillion in 2016.
The bulk of the investments were in manufacturing and wholesale trade, and was driven by a $128.2 billion gain from Europe — specifically Ireland, the Netherlands and Switzerland.
Regarding direct U.S. investments abroad, the total increased by $427.3 billion to over $6 trillion at the end of 2017, from $5.6 trillion in the same period in 2016. “The increase mainly reflected a $243.6 billion increase in the position in Europe, primarily in Switzerland, the U.K., Ireland and the Netherlands,” the BEA said in a statement. “By industry, affiliates in manufacturing and holding companies accounted for the largest increases.”
The release of the report today follows suggestions from President Trump that his administration will pull back on tariffs to Europe as the European Union agrees to buy more soybeans and natural gas.
The investments made abroad by U.S. businesses were financial and were “primarily reinvestment of earnings,” the BEA said adding that investments coming into the U.S. were mostly equity investments.
The analysis by the BEA showed that U.S. multinational enterprises invested in nearly every country, “but their investment in foreign affiliates in five countries accounted for more than half of the total position at the end of 2017.”
The researchers said in their report that the U.S. direct investment abroad position “was largest in the Netherlands at $936.7 billion, followed by the U.K. ($747.6 billion), Luxembourg ($676.4 billion), Ireland ($446.4 billion) and Canada ($391.2 billion).”
With inbound investments and by country of the “ultimate beneficial owner,” the BEA said the top five countries in terms of position “were the U.K. ($614.9 billion), Canada ($523.8 billion), Japan ($476.9 billion), Germany ($405.6 billion) and Ireland ($328.7 billion).”