Investing in the United States: Is the U.S. Ready for FDI from China?

Edited by Karl P. Sauvant

{Edward Elgar Publishing: 2010}

Fall 2010

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Lecturer-in-Law Karl P. Sauvant, founding executive director of the Vale Columbia Center on Sustainable International Investment, edited a new book, Investing in the United States: Is the U.S. Ready for FDI from China?, which examines the impending influx of foreign direct investment into the U.S. economy from emerging markets, particularly China. “One of the world’s most important bilateral relationships is that between China and the United States,” Sauvant writes in the book’s introduction. “An increasingly visible component of that relationship concerns foreign direct investment (FDI).”

The new publication, the result of a joint project by the U.S. Chinese Services Group of Deloitte and the Vale Columbia Center on Sustainable International Investment, features commentary from several noted scholars, including David N. Fagan, who specializes in national security law at Covington & Burling; Timothy Frye, a political science professor at Columbia University; and Curtis J. Milhaupt ’89, Columbia Law School’s Parker Professor of Comparative Corporate Law and the Fuyo Professor of Japanese Law. Throughout the publication, the authors outline the regulatory hurdles and challenges that emerging markets face when looking to invest in the
U.S. economy.

In his portion of the book, Milhaupt offers lessons learned from Japan’s experience investing in the U.S. “Twenty years before China became a rising star in the global economy and a major potential source of outward foreign direct investment (FDI), another East Asian country—Japan—occupied this role,” Milhaupt writes. But that period of increased Japanese FDI wasn’t without controversy, the professor notes, and debates once raged over whether Japan’s economic ascendance was a threat to U.S. interests. “Any influx of Chinese FDI into the United States will take place against a backdrop that bears a striking resemblance to the situation two
decades earlier.”

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