CBI: UK tops out as largest foreign investor in USA at $449bn

Posted On: 12th August 2016

The UK remains the largest single investor in the United States of America, supporting over one million jobs across the country, according to the CBI’s annual Sterling Assets report.CBI

Examining the impact of British business on the American economy, the report finds that as of the end of 2014, the UK had invested $449 billion in the US – $76 billion more than the next largest investor, Japan, and nearly $200 billion more than America’s neighbour, Canada. This represents a weighty 15% share of the $2.9 trillion of foreign direct investment in America. Indian and Chinese investment was much smaller – combined, it did not even approach 1% of FDI into the US.

British companies supported over one million jobs (1,029,700) across America, nearly a quarter of which (250,800) were in manufacturing. The UK also remains the largest foreign investor in the US manufacturing sector, investing $180 billion in 2014.

American exports to the UK came to $123 billion in 2015 – up $5 billion on 2014 – making Britain the fourth largest destination for US exports for a second year running, and the largest within the European Union by a substantial margin.

Trade in services between the two countries hit highs in 2015. American services exports to the UK rose to $66.9 billion (from $63.2 billion in 2014), whilst US imports of British services climbed to $53 billion (rising from $50 billion in 2014).

Ben Digby, CBI International Director, said:

“Seventy years since Sir Winston Churchill coined his iconic phrase, it’s really encouraging to see the economic special relationship between the UK and the USA continuing to go from strength to strength. The UK weighs in yet again as the largest foreign investor in America, whilst British companies support over 1 million jobs in the States, stretching from Alaska to Maine.

But even the strongest and most enduring relationships need close care and attention. Following the UK’s decision to leave the European Union, and with the United States heading to the polls to elect a new President, we need to do everything we can to make it easier to trade, invest and drive prosperity on both sides of the Atlantic. So it’s great to hear the recent announcement of three new Government Offices across America.

As the Government negotiates our exit from the EU, a clear strategy will be needed to boost trade with partners, old and new, across the globe. Markets should be carefully prioritised, in consultation with business, to lay the foundations for deep and comprehensive future trade and investment relationships, and the USA must be at the top of that list.

The UK stood to be up to £10 billion a year better off upon implementation of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) between the USA and the European Union, so the Government should also explore the possibility of joining the final deal, as a third party.”

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