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Foreign investment

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In a reversal of the offshoring trend that has sent American jobs overseas, foreign manufacturers are headed for the United States.

“The long-jilted USA is becoming a manufacturing hotbed for dozens of foreign companies in aerospace, energy, chemicals and other sectors. Many want to be closer to customers in the world’s No. 1 market,” wrote USA Today reporter Paul Davidson.

Foreign companies invested $493 billion in manufacturing facilities here from 2007 to 2012, compared with $270 billion the previous six years. Notably, the heightened investment spanned the recession and no doubt created jobs that helped America recover.

At the same time, more than 200 companies have that went overseas have come back home since 2010, a phenomenon known as onshoring that has generated 50,000 factory jobs.

Multinational companies that have completed or plan expansions in the United States include Rolls-Royce, with a jet engine parts plant in Virginia; BMW, building sports utility vehicles in South Carolina; Toyota, with several plants producing vehicles and parts, and Airbus, building commercial airplanes in Alabama.

According to the USA Today report, American workers at foreign-owned plants benefit from pay that is 14 percent higher than the industry average.

A number of factors are attracting foreign investors. Labor agreements are less restrictive here than in Europe. American worker productivity has risen faster.

Due to the natural gas boom, energy prices are a quarter to a third lower than in Europe. American infrastructure facilitates transportation and services, and the United State offers greater political stability.

Jobs are coming home. “Made in America” is taking on renewed meaning.

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