Business looks to America

In the last decade or so, a lot of ink has flowed and opinions have aired decrying the outsourcing of jobs by United States companies.

Virtually everyone with a keyboard or a microphone has spouted off about call centers in India, computers that are made in China and profits that are hidden in Ireland.

Why, even we chirped in last month and wrote a piece about Apple and Microsoft not just building things overseas, but keeping cash offshore to avoid U.S. income taxes.

So it was a bit of a surprise to read a story in The Wall Street Journal that said the United States is ranked No. 1 in a recent survey for foreign investment climate.

Yup, the Journal story cited a survey by consulting firm A.T. Kearney that said the U.S. has overtaken China as the best place for foreign businesses to build and operate a factory. It further stated that the increase in oil and gas production in our country indicated to world business leaders a chance for stability in energy prices.

Obviously, they are talking about the Mainland, not Hawaii.

Companies like Toyota and even Airbus are planning major new plants in the United States. (Airbus was originally formed by European countries – France, Germany, Great Britain and Spain – so that is really confusing.)

The story also noted efforts by foreign interests to purchase existing U.S. companies. Smithfield Foods is being sought by Chinese firm Shuanghui International Holdings for a cool $4.7 billion. Apollo Tyres of India will pay $2.5 billion for Cooper Tire & Rubber Co.

Paul Laudicina, who founded A.T. Kearney, told the Journal that some investors “have basically rediscovered the United States.”

That is very good news. Perhaps sometime in the near future, the loop will be closed when an American in a call center totally confuses an Indian with an unresponsive computer mouse.

* Editorials reflect the opinion of the publisher.