Foreign Direct Investment in the United States: An Economic Analysis [October 26, 2012] [open pdf - 255KB]
"Foreign direct investment in the United States has rebounded slowly after falling from the $310 billion recorded in 2008, a record surpassed only by the $320 billion invested in 2000 in U.S. businesses and real estate. (Note: The United States defines foreign direct investment as the ownership or control, directly or indirectly, by one foreign person [individual, branch, partnership, association, government, etc.] of 10% or more of the voting securities of an incorporated U.S. business enterprise or an equivalent interest in an unincorporated U.S. business enterprise (15 CFR [Code of Federal Regulations] §806.15 [a]). In 2011, according to U.S. Department of Commerce data, foreigners invested $234 billion in U.S. businesses and real estate. Foreign direct investments are highly sought after by many state and local governments that are struggling to create additional jobs in their localities. While some in Congress encourage such investment to offset the perceived negative economic effects of U.S. firms investing abroad, others are concerned about foreign acquisitions of U.S. firms that are considered essential to U.S. national and economic security."
CRS Report for Congress, RS21857