U.S.-UK Trade and Investment Ties

Trade and investment ties between the U.S. and UK are deep and enduring.

Investment is at the core of the U.S.-UK relationship.

  • The UK is the single largest investor in the United States. British companies have invested more than $480 billion in the U.S., accounting for more than 15% of all inbound foreign direct investment (FDI). [1] [2]
     
  • The U.S. is also the largest investor in the UK. American firms have invested nearly $600 billion in the British market, nearly a quarter of their total investment in Europe, and more than 12% of all U.S. FDI worldwide. [3]
     

Investments translate into American and British jobs.

  • More than 1.1 million Americans work for British companies in the U.S., and nearly 1.4 million Britons are directly employed by U.S. affiliates. Bilateral trade and investment support millions more jobs indirectly. [4]
     
  • Every American state has jobs that are connected to or originated from an investment by a UK company. The five largest states in terms of employment by British firms are Texas, California, New York, Pennsylvania, and Illinois. [5]
     
  • U.S. jobs supported by British investment are high quality and highly paid—in manufacturing, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, information technology, and financial services, among other sectors.

Trade ties are also strong, with room to grow.

  • The UK is the 4th largest export destination for American goods and services and the U.S.’ 7th largest trading partner overall. [6] [7]
     
  • Today, over 42,000 American firms export to the UK and more than 7,500 have operations in the UK. [8]
     
  • Overall, the U.S. enjoyed a net surplus of $12 billion of trade in goods and services in 2015. [9]
    • The U.S. exported $123 billion of goods and services to the UK, making it the UK’s 2nd largest source of imports.
    • The U.S. imported $111 billion in goods and services from the UK.

  • The U.S. faced a net deficit of $2 billion of trade in goods in 2015, but swung to a net surplus of $1 billion in 2016. [10]
    • 2015 U.S. exports: $56 billion; imports: $58 billion
    • 2016 U.S. exports: $55 billion; imports: $54 billion
  • In 2015, the U.S. enjoyed a surplus of $14 billion of trade in services with the UK. [11]
    • U.S. exports: $67 billion
    • U.S. imports: $53 billion

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Sources:

[1] Confederation of British Industry, Sterling Assets, http://www.cbi.org.uk/news/sterling-assets-report-uk-is-biggest-single-investor-in-usa/

[2] Organization for International Investment, Foreign Direct Investment in the United States, http://ofii.org/sites/default/files/Foreign%20Direct%20Investment%20in%20the%20United%20States%202016%20Report.pdf

[3] Center for Transatlantic Relations & AmCham EU, Transatlantic Economy 2017, http://www.amchameu.eu/sites/default/files/170227_full-book.pdf

[4] Ibid.

[5] Confederation of British Industry, Sterling Assets, http://www.cbi.org.uk/news/sterling-assets-report-uk-is-biggest-single-investor-in-usa/

[6] Peterson Institute for International Economics, “US-UK Trade and Foreign Investment”, https://piie.com/research/piie-charts/us-uk-trade-and-foreign-investment

[7] Bureau of Economic Analysis, “International Trade and Investment Country Facts”, https://www.bea.gov/international/index.htm

[8] BritishAmerican Business, “UK/US Trade & Investment Fact Sheet”, https://www.babinc.org/uk/

[9] Bureau of Economic Analysis, “United Kingdom – International Trade and Investment Country Facts”, https://www.bea.gov/international/factsheet/factsheet.cfm?Area=327

[10] U.S. Census Bureau, “Trade in Goods with United Kingdom”, https://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/balance/c4120.html

[11] Bureau of Economic Analysis, “United Kingdom – International Trade and Investment Country Facts”, https://www.bea.gov/international/factsheet/factsheet.cfm?Area=327