British investment has biggest international impact on US economy, says CBI

2 min read

04 August 2015

The CBI’s annual “Sterling Assets” report, which was launched on president Barack Obama’s 54th birthday, affirmed that the UK was America's largest foreign investor.

According to the CBI, 19 per cent of America’s $2.8tn (£1.80tn) foreign direct investment came from the UK in 2013. The report also claimed that Britain was the largest foreign investor when it came to America’s manufacturing industry.

British investment further supported 962,900 jobs, of which more than 260,000 were in the manufacturing sector. British companies have created jobs in every single state in America, said the CBI. California, Texas and New York topped the list for the number of jobs supported by UK firms.

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Furthermore, US exports to the UK totalled $118bn (£75.69bn) in 2014, making Britain America’s fourth largest export market. New York accounted for the biggest proportion of exports (£3.98bn).

“The strength and vitality of the economic ties that bind the UK and the US together continue to forge ahead, driving prosperity on both sides of the Atlantic,” said Simon Moore, the CBI’s international director.

“These figures show just how close the commercial relationship between our two nations is,” he added. “Whether it be Britain’s continued position as the largest foreign investor in the US or the fact that British firms support nearly a million American jobs, the UK is clearly well ahead of the pack.”

The CBI suggested that “several other indicators showed that investment by British businesses strengthened the American economy”.

The wages of an American worker employed by a British firm averaged $77,300 (£49,608.05), which the report said was higher than average compensation of $59,600 (£38,248.89) for all US private-sector workers.

And of the $48bn (£30.78bn) in R&D performed by all foreign affiliates, British subsidiaries represented 16 per cent, spending $6.8bn (£4.36bn) in the US. Through these R&D investments, British companies supported 25,700 skilled jobs.