Laura Bloodgood


This article surveys trends in U.S. inbound and outbound foreign direct investment (FDI) during 2000-2005. The article examines the major country and regional destinations for U.S. direct investment abroad (USDIA), and foreign direct investment in the United States (FDIUS). After a brief survey of total inbound and outbound FDI, trends are examined by region and by the most significant developed and developing country investment partner countries. Throughout the paper, the analysis pays particular attention to the multinational corporations that are the source of most FDI, along with particularly important mergers, acquisitions, and greenfield investments. By far the largest U.S. FDI partner is Europe, particularly the United Kingdom, Germany, and the Netherlands. Canada ranks second in terms of its overall FDI relationship with the United States. One-third of cumulative USDIA, equal to $623 billion in 2005, is invested in holding companies in a small number of countries, primarily in Europe and the Caribbean, making it difficult to track the final country and industry destinations of this capital, and limiting an understanding of the effects of U.S. FDI. Mexico is by far the most important FDI partner country among developing countries, for both USDIA and FDIUS.