Today Toyota Motor Manufacturing announced that the company plans to begin manufacturing the Lexus ES 350 in Kentucky. Production will take place at the company’s Georgetown plant and will create 750 new jobs. The company is investing $360 million in the facility and will start producing vehicles in 2015. This will be the first time Toyota has manufactured Lexus vehicles in the United States.
This is positive news for manufacturing in the United States and also shows the benefits of direct foreign investment for job creation. One of the top goals of the NAM which is laid out in our Growth Agenda is to make the United States the best place in the world to manufacture and attract direct foreign investment.
Just yesterday the NAM’s Vice President of International Economic Affairs Linda Dempsey testified before the House Energy & Commerce Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade hearing about global investment in America. She discussed the economic impact of foreign investment on manufacturing in the United States.
“Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) plays a critical role in manufacturing. Based on data from the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Economic Analysis, FDI inflows in manufacturing equaled nearly $83.4 billion in 2012, accounting for almost 50 percent of total FDI inflows. FDI in manufacturing has shown substantial growth since 2003 and is showing a rebound from the weakness in 2008 and 2009. About 95 percent of all FDI in the United States comes from developed countries, starting with the United Kingdom. While the share fluctuates yearly, a substantial portion of such investment since 2005 has been in the manufacturing sector. The most recent data from 2012, which are still preliminary, show that FDI in manufacturing accounts for nearly 50 percent of total FDI that year.”
With the global competition growing there is clearly more room for growth in FDI. It currently remains 20 percent more expensive to manufacture in the United States compared to our largest trading partners. To make America the best place for foreign direct investment policymakers must move forward with pro-growth policies laid out in the NAM’s Growth Agenda.