Treasurer Scott Morrison will today launch a first-of-its-kind report from the United States Studies Centre at the University of Sydney (USSC) detailing the deep benefits of the US-Australia investment relationship. 

The study, supported by the American Chamber of Commerce in Australia (AmCham), represents the most comprehensive analysis of the two-way investment relationship ever undertaken. As well as an overview of the historic foreign direct investment by the United States in Australia, the report contains 13 case studies of businesses with strong US-Australia ties, the results of a survey of business leaders' attitudes to international investment, and a series of policy recommendations to further enhance the investment relationship.

"This study is a key part of a broader Centre effort to help Australians understand the depth and importance of Australia’s economic relationship with the United States," USSC CEO Simon Jackman said. "The stories of numerous American corporations and their investments in Australia – as well as Australian companies investing in the United States – highlight the long history and ongoing value of the investment relationship.

"AmCham CEO Niels Marquardt described the US-Australia investment relationship as "unsurpassed but under-appreciated".

"This may be the 'Asian Century', but this study also helps unpack how American investment has made it possible for Australia to benefit so much from opportunities in Asia. It is safe to say that, without American investment, technology, talent, and equipment, Australia’s engagement with Asia would look significantly different," Mr Marquardt said.

Following its launch at Parliament House today the report's authors, Professor of Economics Richard Holden and USSC Research Associate Jared Mondschein, will travel to Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth and Brisbane to discuss their findings with the business community and government. Further information on those events can be found here.

Key points

  • The cumulative value of two-way investment between the United States and Australia is more than A$1.47 trillion, a number nearly as large as Australia's gross domestic product
  • The knowledge and skills transfer that result from US investment into Australia are described by business leaders as one of the most valuable benefits of the investment relationship because it enriches the competitiveness and level of skill available in the Australian economy.
  • Public policy needs to address continued transfer of highly-skilled overseas personnel to US companies in Australia; ensure Australia retains its “lifestyle dividend”; encourage investment certainty and amass better data on inward and outward foreign investment.

View report

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