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The United States is “open for business.”

An Overview

The USA is the premier location for new business investment, tops among all countries. It attracted about $225 billion in inbound investment in 2011 from global companies headquartered abroad—but seeks to do even better in 2012 and future years. Additionally, U.S.-owned companies that are expanding facilities, adding new facilities, or bringing back jobs from abroad invest hundreds of billions more dollars in the United States.

With the world’s largest and most diversified economy, the United States offers investors extraordinary attractions and many possible locations.  The United States had a gross domestic product (GDP) of over $15 trillion dollars in 2011, much larger than the GDP of any other country.  It has a lucrative and open consumer market of over 310 million Americans, as well as access via free trade agreements to about 415 million more customers for goods and services that are produced in the United States.

The American work force is well-educated, productive, innovative, and mobile, and the United States has the flexibility through the American educational system to fashion training programs for the jobs of today and tomorrow.  The United States also has the world’s best university system, one that hosts and spins off research and development (R&D) programs that contribute to the country’s strong R&D activities.

Innovation is part of America’s DNA. Creating intellectual property is encouraged and the results are well-protected.  The American political system is a stable democracy and the legal system is transparent and predictable, all of which helps ensure that business investments are safe.

The American economy has robust supply chains for manufacturing.   The infrastructure spanning this large country works well and is also poised for new investment for further expansion and modernization.

With a land area that is the third largest in the world and encompasses an abundance of resources, a varied geography, and several climate zones, the United States offers investors a broad range of possible locations for investment.

The World’s Largest Economy and Most Attractive Consumer Market

The United States is the world’s largest economy and has the world’s third-largest population with a GDP of over $15 trillion and a population of more than 310 million people. The resulting per capita GDP of over $48,000 is among the highest for the world’s major developed economies. The U.S. market is diverse in consumer tastes and has a range of income levels, thus permitting success for a wide variety of goods and services. Whether it be a computer or other electronic device, a movie or a song, a large passenger airplane, or oil drilling equipment, trends in global markets often start in the United States. Brands are not considered truly global until they penetrate the U.S. market.

In addition, the United States has entered into free trade agreements with 20 other countries, providing access to more than 425 million more customers for U.S. goods and services. For the complete list of agreements, see http://www.ustr.gov/trade-agreements/free-trade-agreements.

Businesses operating in small markets in other countries can become large, dynamic firms in the United States. Large companies operating abroad can grow even more in the United States.

Competitive Investment and Business Climate

The stable U.S. government and business climate inspire investor confidence. (ATKearney’s 2012 FDI Confidence Index) Indeed, the United States is the world’s most attractive market for venture capital and private equity funding. (Ernst & Young and IESE Business School’s 2011 Global Venture Capital and Private Equity Country Attractiveness Index.) (PDF 4 MB)

Among countries with more than 10 million people, the United States consistently ranks first for its overall competitiveness (World Economic Forum, Global Competitiveness Report 2011-12), as well as for its overall “ease of doing business.” (World Bank, Doing Business 2012.)

Highly Educated and Productive Work Force

The American work force is highly educated. Forty-one percent of Americans between the ages of 25 to 64 have completed a level of education beyond high school, which is fourth among all developed countries and considerably more than the OECD average of 30 percent. (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.) (PDF 5 MB)

U.S. workers are also among the world's most productive, both in the value of a worker's output per hour or over the course of a year.

The more than 153 million workers in the U.S. civilian labor force are diverse, flexible in the workplace, and mobile. They have a long history of adapting to circumstances and embracing opportunity, a core element of the American spirit.

World's Top Universities and Colleges

The United States is the home to the world's best university and college system. One study ranks American universities among the top four out of five individual universities in the world, occupying 30 of the top 50 places overall. (Times Higher Education World University Rankings for 2011 - 2012.)

These universities and colleges undertake extensive research and development that contribute to America's R&D activities. Indeed, new technologies and techniques are often developed in these universities and commercialized by private industry, attracting new waves of business investment.

Extraordinary American universities and colleges are complemented by the government's support for community colleges that offer job training programs for skilled workers to fill the employment needs of business.

Protecting Intellectual Property

The United States is the world's leader in protecting intellectual property rights (IPR), whether patents, trademarks, copyrights, or other forms of IPR are involved. Roughly one million patent and trademark applications are filed each year.

Obtaining protection for these valuable business assets is simple and cost-effective. The transparent and predictable legal system resolves disputes quickly, often before significant expense is incurred. Businesses can rely on the U.S.'s comprehensive enforcement capabilities to protect their IP rights from infringement.

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