U.S. Companies and Global Supply Networks: Key Facts

Globally engaged U.S. companies are fundamentally American companies. As a group, they have long performed large shares of America’s productivity-enhancing activities that create tens of millions of well-paying jobs. This group, like much in America, is richly diverse in size, employment, industry and customers.

•   Multinational companies operating in the United States in 2010 employed 28.1 million Americans, performed $253.8 billion in research and development (r&D), invested $587.8 billion in capital, and bought from U.S. suppliers more than $8.0 trillion in goods and services.

•   The worldwide operations of U.S.-headquartered multinational companies are highly concentrated in America in their U.S. parents, not abroad in their foreign affiliates: In 2010, U.S. parents accounted for 67.3 percent of their companies’ worldwide employment, 72.5 percent of capital investment, and 84.3 percent of R&D.

•   Today about 26 percent of U.S.-based multinational companies have U.S. parent companies that are classified by the U.S. government as small or medium-sized businesses because they employ fewer than 500 people.

To remain dynamic and innovative, U.S. companies must engage with the world, and a primary motive for expanding abroad is to meet the rapid growth in global demand. With more than 95 percent of the world’s consumers living outside the United States, the success of American business increasingly hinges on venturing into the global marketplace for new customers.

•   From 1991 through 2011, growth in U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) averaged about 2.4 percent. This growth was slower than what much of the world achieved over this generation: averages of 3.4 percent for the overall world, 5.0 percent for emerging and developing countries, 6.6 percent in India, and a remarkable 10.4 percent in China. The U.S. share of world GDP fell from 32.3 percent in 2001 to just 21.6 percent in 2011.

•   Because foreign markets are growing faster than the U.S. market, for U.S.-based multinational companies output growth has been much faster abroad than at home. Over 1999–2009, value added across all their foreign affiliates grew at an annual average of 7.0 percent — versus an annual average of just 1.7 percent in their U.S. parents. average affiliate output growth was 8.4 percent in Brazil, 22.8 percent in China, 24.9 percent in Eastern Europe and 26.8 percent in India.

•   More than 90 percent of what foreign affiliates of U.S.-based multinationals produced abroad in 2009 was sold abroad, rather than being imported back to America.

Another essential reason why U.S. companies venture abroad is to refine operations by creating and integrating into global supply networks. Their success in America increasingly hinges on expanding into the world for creative new ways to produce goods and services.

•   The cumulative share of foreign value added in world exports rose by about 14 percentage points from 1970 to 2009, doubling from 13 percent to about 27 percent. The foreign content of U.S. exports tripled, rising from about 7 percent in 1970 to 22 percent in the late 2000s.

•   From 1989 to 2009, the share of intermediate inputs in total sales rose for both the U.S. and foreign operations of U.S.-based multinationals: from 66.6 percent to 73.3 percent for U.S. parents and from 71.7 percent to 76.5 percent for foreign affiliates.

Global demand growth and global supply networks tend to create american jobs. Expansion abroad by U.S. multinational companies tends to complement their U.S. operations. Globally engaged U.S. companies also create jobs in america in other companies — including in their small-business suppliers.

•   The U.S. parent enterprise of the typical U.S. multinational buys more than $3 billion in inputs (goods and services) from more than 6,000 American small businesses, which is more than 24 percent of its total input purchases.

•   One study of all U.S. multinationals in manufacturing from 1982 to 2004 found that a 10 percent increase in foreign-affiliate employee compensation causes an average response of a 3.7 percent increase in that affiliate’s U.S. parent employee compensation.

•   From 1999 through 2009, the percentage decline in U.S. manufacturing jobs was larger among those companies that were not part of a U.S.-based multinational company — 40.7 percent — than among the U.S. parents in U.S. manufacturing — 23.9 percent.

•   From 1999 through 2009, U.S. parent employment in services rose by 1.26 million.

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American Companies and Global Supply Networks

Driving U.S. Economic Growth and Jobs by Connecting with the World

Executive Summary

America today sits at an economic crossroads, unsure of what path to take to confront its competitiveness challenge of too little economic growth and too few jobs. The good news is there is a future in which America can create millions of good jobs and strengthen its economic growth by seeking opportunities in global markets via international trade and investment. Doing so will require thoughtful U.S. policies that promote U.S. competitiveness and are based on a sound understanding that the success of American companies, and of the U.S. workers they employ, increasingly hinges on their success as globally engaged companies.

This report aims to provide that understanding by explaining what American companies must do to succeed in today’s dynamic global economy: an explanation — based on current statistics, academic and policy research, and case studies — of the mindset, goals and methods that create success in innovative, forward-looking companies. The report makes three main points about globally engaged U.S. companies.

•   First, they are fundamentally American companies driving the capital investment, research and development (R&D), and international trade that support economic growth and well- paying jobs in the United States. As a group, they have long performed large shares of such productivity-enhancing activities in America. They employ tens of millions of Americans, invest hundreds of billions in U.S. R&D and capital, and buy trillions in goods and services from U.S. vendors, ultimately producing trillions in American goods and services. They foresee maintaining a major U.S. presence well into the future. In the United States, like much in America, they are a richly diverse group in size, employment, industry and customers.

•   Second, their success in America increasingly hinges on their being globally engaged.To remain dynamic and innovative, they must engage with the world. They venture abroad to meet the growth in global demand that, over the past generation, has been much faster than that in the United States and thus presents vast new markets with billions of new customers. They venture abroad to refine their operations by creating and integrating into global supply networks, which include both U.S. and foreign companies. Their success in America increasingly hinges on creative new ways to make goods and services around the world. “Made in America” increasingly involves the rest of the world.

•   Third, their engagement around the world boosts hiring, investment, and R&D in their U.S. operations. They create and support the jobs that America needs, but their job creation is neither simple nor static. They create jobs in America connected to growth in global demand and to their global supply networks. Expansion abroad by U.S. companies tends to complement their U.S. operations, with more hiring and investment abroad often boosting hiring, investment, and R&D in their U.S. operations. and they create jobs in America in other companies, not just in themselves. In particular, they create jobs in small and medium-sized American enterprises that become part of their global supply networks.

There is no single strategy for what American companies must do to succeed and create jobs when venturing abroad. To stay ahead of intense international competition, American companies must create, implement and change strategies from a truly global perspective, with dynamic differences in successful strategies both across companies at a point in time and within companies over time. The intensity of worldwide competition means globally engaged U.S. companies need flexibility to experiment, learn, fail, adjust and succeed.

ASEAN Secretary General: South China Sea risks becoming “Asia’s Palestine”


Southeast Asia’s top diplomat has warned that the South China Sea disputes risk becoming “Asia’s Palestine”, deteriorating into a violent conflict that draws sharp dividing lines between nations and destabilises the whole region.

Read more from …    CNN     Financial Times     The Economist


U.S. Energy Information Agency   The South China Sea encompasses a portion of the Pacific Ocean stretching roughly from Singapore and the Strait of Malacca in the southwest, to the Strait of Taiwan (between Taiwan and China) in the northeast. The area includes more than 200 small islands, rocks, and reefs, with the majority located in the Paracel and Spratly Island chains. Many of these islands are partially submerged islets, rocks, and reefs unsuitable for habitation and are little more than shipping hazards, with the total land area of the Spratly Islands encompassing less than 3 square miles. The islands are important for strategic and political reasons, however, as claims of ownership are used to bolster claims to the surrounding sea and its resources. The Gulf of Thailand borders the South China Sea, and though technically not part of it, disputes surround ownership of the Gulf and its resources as well.

CIA_Map_ SCS_for_publication

Source: CIA Maps and Publications for the Public (from above U.S. EIA Link)