What is the investment regime of the United States?

Despite having an open investment regime, there are some sectoral limitations in the United States that provide for examination procedures for foreign investment in a few sectors, such as airlines and nuclear energy.

In addition, the United States applies a national security review process to foreign capitals that may affect national security interests, according to information from the WTO.

In the United States, international investment agreements are used to encourage foreign investment.

These agreements include trade and investment framework agreements (TIFAs), bilateral treaties (BITs), and free trade agreements (FTAs).

TIFAs provide a framework for dialogue on trade and capital issues between the United States and the other parties to the TIFA, and are often the first step in establishing stronger trade and investment links.

The purpose of these agreements is to enhance trade and capital opportunities for the United States and partner countries.

Issues for cooperation include those related to market access, employment, environmental protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights.


BITs are critical to promoting a rules-based system for international investment.

These treaties may contain, among others, provisions on non-discriminatory treatment of investments in the host country, limits on expropriation of investments, and access to impartial binding procedures to settle investment-related disputes with the governments of the countries. receivers.

BITs, like international treaties, only require ratification by the Senate; In this they differ from FTAs, which require a vote in Congress on the implementing legislation.

The investment chapters of FTAs ​​often include provisions identical or similar to those of BITs.

Of the 14 FTAs ​​signed by the United States, 12 contain investment provisions.

Promotion of foreign trade

SelectUSA, created in 2011, is a public program run by the Department of Commerce to promote investment entry into the United States.

The program serves two stakeholders: foreign-owned companies that are considering investing in the United States and United States Economic Development Organizations (EDOs) that want to attract high-impact FDI.

The assistance provided includes information, guidance and advisory services, mediation, promotion, and marketing and promotion through global meetings.

In accordance with the Law on the Examination of International Investments and Trade in Services, and for analysis and statistical purposes, US companies must notify the competent authorities of any direct foreign capital in which a foreign natural person (or legal entity) owns a 10 % or more of the voting shares of a US entity.

The Bureau of Economic Analysis, under the Department of Commerce, collects information on FDI to produce statistics on the scale of activities carried out by foreign-owned companies in the United States, as well as on the effects of those activities in the American economy.


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