The GBA U.S. Business Climate Index™ remained flat at 76 points in the latest Inbound Investment Survey. While these major U.S. employers continue to have reservations about the U.S. business climate, their expectations for increasing employment over the next six months remained positive, with two in five (41%) of respondents saying they plan to add jobs in the near term. Today, two-thirds of GBA members believe the U.S. business climate for international companies is “staying the same” when compared to six months ago. Only five percent believe it is “getting better.”
When asked to compare the U.S. business climate for foreign-headquartered companies today to the two years prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, executives were mostly negative. Nearly half (45 percent) described the U.S. business climate as being “worse” today than it was before the pandemic, while 37 percent said it remains “the same” as before. Less than one in five (18 percent) say the U.S. business climate is “better” than it was before the pandemic.
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Nearly a third of respondents (30%) indicate that Select USA has either a “Somewhat Strong” or “Strong Understanding” of the challenges their companies face; 28 percent hold that view of the Commerce Department. Conversely, Local Government Officials, Local and Regional EDOs, and State Legislative Representatives are rated most negatively, with 62%, 41% and 39% of respondents giving those respective entities either a “Somewhat Poor” or “Poor Understanding” rating.
Other entities with a net-positive impression include the U.S. Department of Treasury (Somewhat Strong to Strong: 26%; Somewhat Poor to Poor: 20%; Net +6), and USTR (26%/21%; +5). Governors are rated as neutral (20%/20%; +0).