U.S. Investment Heroes of 2014: Investing at Home in a Connected World

In this era of globalization, goods, services, money, people, and data all cross national borders with ease. Indeed, connectedness to the rest of the world is now essential for the data-driven economy we find ourselves in to thrive. It follows that our tax, trade, immigration, and regulatory policies must be oriented to encourage that connectedness.

But perhaps paradoxically, prospering in a connected world requires a dedication to investing at home. It is impossible to participate as a full partner in the global economy unless we are investing in digital communications networks, education, infrastructure, research, energy production, product development, content, and security domestically. Investment generates increased productivity, higher incomes, new jobs, and more opportunities for the economic mobility and growth that we all desire.

Such prosperity-enhancing investment comes in many flavors, both private and public. In this report, we focus on identifying the U.S.-based corporations with the highest levels of domestic capital expenditures, as defined by spending on plants, property, and equipment in the United States. Currently, accounting rules do not require companies to report their U.S. capital spending separately, although some do. We fill in this gap in available knowledge using a methodology outlined at the end of this paper, based on estimates derived from published data from nonfinancial Fortune 150 companies.

To understand which companies are betting on America’s future, we rank the top 25 companies by their estimated domestic investment. We believe this list can help inform good policy for encouraging continued and renewed investment domestically.

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