Columbia International Affairs Online: Policy Briefs

CIAO DATE: 10/2011

Beyond treasuries: A foreign direct investment program for U.S. infrastructure

Geraldine McAllister, Joel H. Moser

September 2011

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment


In his jobs address to a joint session of Congress last week, President Obama returned to a familiar theme: a call for nontraditional infrastructure investment as a generator of economic growth and, ultimately, jobs. The President's frequent references to “private investment” and “fully paid” infrastructure are encouraging, yet there is no assurance that domestic private capital investment alone is sufficient to reverse the degradation of the nation’s infrastructure. As host to the largest flows of inward foreign direct investment (FDI), it is time that the United States employs this critical source of capital in tackling the nation’s infrastructure deficit.