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Is Michelle Bachmann Posturing On Foreign Direct Investment Plans?
The claim by one-time Republican Presidential hopeful, Michele Bachmann, that she wanted to ‘bring home’ the 100,000 FDI jobs created in Ireland by U.S. companies attracted a lot of media attention in 2011.
But is there any significance in this for American companies looking to invest in Ireland – or even broadening the conversation to include those thinking of investing in Europe.
The reality is that it’s rather unlikely that her comments will make much of a difference to US corporations who may be looking to invest in Ireland or invest in Europe.
No doubt it goes down pretty well at local town hall meetings, but the political and business reality of the situation means that few, if any, of those FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) jobs are genuinely at risk. Equally, companies who may be considering investing in Ireland or investing in Europe for the first time are unlikely to be swayed by it.
First of all, what’s less regularly commented on is the fact that Ireland is the 13th ...
... largest investor in the US, and Irish companies actually provide 82,000 jobs for Americans across all 50 states. So if we decided to respond to any American jobs retrenchment, the net gain for America would be quite low (just 18,000 jobs).
And companies who have already invested in Ireland or invested in Europe are savvy enough to spot this. Equally, those actively considering investing in Ireland or investing in Europe are unlikely to be influenced by what seems like transparent political posturing, and will be much more influenced by core commercial considerations, such as a benign tax regime.
But the bigger question is would we seriously look to repatriate Irish jobs in US as a quid pro quo for the US withdrawing from Ireland? Absolutely not, because they act as a gateway to a massive export market in the States.
And if you apply the same logic, it’s nonsense to suggest that America would seriously contemplate taking jobs out of Ireland with an end result of cutting off their gateway to the European market. So their decision to invest in Ireland and invest in Europe would be unaffected by political repatriation issues.
So expect to hear some more of this rhetoric from Bachmann in the months ahead – but don’t expect too much to flow from it.
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