Foreign direct investment (FDI) plays a crucial role in the global economy, and the United States has long been an attractive destination for international investors. To accurately gauge the impact and trends of FDI, the US government conducts the Benchmark Survey of Foreign Direct Investment every five years.
In general, any US company that had covered foreign ownership in 2022 is required to submit a survey response. The law requires a US company to respond if at least one foreign person held, directly or indirectly, a ten percent (10%) or more voting interest at the end of the company’s fiscal year that ended in calendar year 2022. A ‘foreign person’ is anyone who lives outside the United States, or a person or organization subject to the jurisdiction of another country (such as a company organized under the laws of another country).
Survey responses submitted online are due June 30, 2023.
What do you need to know?
The survey covers fiscal years ending in 2022.
All entities subject to the reporting requirements must file, even if they are not contacted by BEA. Filers must select the appropriate BE-12A, B, or C form.
Those who would normally file a BE-15 annual survey will file the benchmark survey instead for 2022.
The US Government treats survey submissions as confidential, and data reported on BEA surveys is not subject to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests.
Additional information and online filing can be accessed at: https://www.bea.gov/surveys/be12.
What is the Benchmark Survey of Foreign Direct Investment?
The Benchmark Survey of Foreign Direct Investment is conducted by the US Department of Commerce's Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). It is a comprehensive survey that collects detailed information on foreign direct investment activities within the United States. The survey provides valuable insights into the economic relationships between US affiliates of foreign companies and their parent companies abroad.
What Data is Captured in the Survey?
The benchmark survey collects extensive data on various aspects of foreign direct investment. Some of the key information sought includes:
- Financial Data: The survey captures financial transactions, including sales, expenses, and profits of foreign-owned US affiliates, allowing for a comprehensive understanding of the economic impact of FDI.
- Employment Statistics: The survey collects employment data, including the number of jobs created by foreign affiliates, job types, and wages. This information helps gauge the contribution of FDI to employment and wages in the United States.
- Research and Development (R&D): The survey examines the R&D activities of foreign-owned US affiliates, enabling policymakers to evaluate the innovation and technology transfer facilitated by FDI.
- Geographic and Industry Breakdown: The survey analyzes the geographic distribution of foreign investment across US states and regions. It also captures data on industry sectors, identifying areas where FDI is concentrated and highlighting emerging trends.
How long is the survey?
The BE-12A Benchmark Survey form – for larger foreign direct investments - is 36 pages long and may require considerable time and attention to complete. Even the BE-12C form – for smaller foreign direct investments – is 21 pages long.
We are here to help!
The Maynard Nexsen team is available to answer questions about this filing requirement, and other Bureau of Economic Analysis reporting requirements.
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