Skip to main content

Driving Foreign Direct Investment to the U.S.

How does the United States continue to be a friendly country for capital destination?


Stephen Gray, president and CEO of Gray Construction, recently posed this question in an interview on CNBC. The U.S. has long been regarded as a welcoming destination for international manufacturing companies and continues to be the largest receiver of foreign direct investment (FDI) in the world.

FDI propels economic growth and contributes to innovation and exports.


Recent years have brought about significant increases in manufacturing activity with the past 21 months showing consecutive growth. According to the Reshoring Initiative, in 2017, reshoring and FDI job announcements were up 2,800 percent since 2010. The preliminary data for 2018 is as strong as 2017 as well.


What drives U.S. investment?


For the fifth year in a row, A.T. Kearney ranked the United States as the world’s top destination for business. Manufacturing companies want to be close to the 325 million American consumers. The high level of skills and labor productivity the U.S. workforce provides also serve as a valuable appeal to companies looking to the U.S. for investment opportunities.


Cost-effectiveness is another big reason for manufacturers to invest in the U.S. With wages continuing to rise around the world, companies want to bring operations to American soil due to the stability of the U.S. business sector.


Additionally, abundant natural resources attract manufacturers to the U.S. Lastly, recent initiatives with tax and regulatory reform have produced an even stronger business climate for companies to operate.


Going back to Stephen’s question, to continue the strong trend that the U.S. has experienced will require building upon the strong foundation that has already been set. Of some concern is the recent tariff announcements. Though some would argue they will bring about more investment through force, is that really how we want America to be defined?


Effective FDI is a result of creating the best business environment we can that makes companies want to invest. If we create this promising atmosphere, both the U.S. and FDI will continue to thrive.


During SelectUSA’s 2018 Investment Summit in Washington, D.C., June 20-21, Gray Construction will be ready to discuss how our fully integrated design-build solutions can benefit foreign investors looking to build modern manufacturing facilities in the U. S. Stop by booth #635 to learn how more than seventy percent of Gray’s manufacturing projects are currently with international customers. For more information, contact Jeff Bischoff, executive vice president of business development, at or Marcus Taylor, senior manager of business development at

    Some opinions expressed in this article may be those of a contributing author and not necessarily Gray.

    Get the Latest.