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CRS – U.S. Direct Investment Abroad: Trends and Current Issues

U.S. Direct Investment Abroad: Trends and Current Issues, James K. Jackson, Specialist in International Trade and Finance. December 11, 2013.

“According to balance of payments data, U.S. direct investment abroad dropped in 2012 compared with 2011 as a result of a sharp reduction in net equity investment that overshadowed increases in reinvested earnings and intercompany debt investment. Equity capital fell from $65 billion in 2011 to $35 billion in 2012, or by half. Reinvested earnings, which comprised about 86% of total U.S. direct investment abroad in 2012, increased slightly over that recorded in 2011. Intercompany debt also increased slightly as the foreign affiliates reduced the amount of funds they borrowed from their parent companies. An increase in stock market valuations around the world in 2012 increased the overall value of U.S. direct investment abroad, measured at market value, by $736 billion. During the same period, the market value of foreign firms operating in the United States experienced an increase of over $1.0 trillion in 2012. In 2012, changes in the values of stocks owned by U.S. firms abroad increased by $900 billion, while the value of stocks owned  in the United States by foreign firms increased by about $585 billion.”

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