As scores of companies are hemorrhaging jobs, closing plants and slashing compensation, foreign employers have become a lifeline for Ms. Ryan and millions of other Americans. While they haven’t been immune from the recession, foreign-owned companies in the United States have a work force of more than 5.3 million, or some 3.5 percent of all workers, and are spread across the 50 states in sectors from manufacturing to retail and publishing. If these jobs did not exist, the nation’s unemployment rate would be above 13 percent.
Investments in the United States by big car companies like Toyota, Honda, Nissan and Mercedes-Benz have received the greatest share of attention over the past two decades. But there are also tens of thousands of Americans working for companies like the Tata Group of India, which recently reopened the Pierre Hotel in Manhattan and makes Eight O’Clock Coffee; Haier, the Chinese appliance maker, with a refrigerator plant in South Carolina and an impressive headquarters in a landmark building in Manhattan; and Nestlé, the Swiss food company, which employs hundreds to make Nesquik and Coffee-Mate in Indiana. Even Anheuser-Busch, America’s best-selling beer maker, is now owned by a Belgian company, InBev.
Foreign companies may touch a nerve in American society and may still be an object of fear and distrust among many, who view foreign investment as a threat to the American worker and way of life. But foreign investment isn’t simply about helping workers earn a weekly paycheck. Foreign companies that invest in the United States are having a significant — and largely positive — impact on not only the lives of workers, but also the health of the American economy and society as a whole.
That got me thinking there must be other companies based in India that are employing Americans. We are not talking about companies that import Indian citizens to work for U.S. subsidiaries via the H1-B program; we are talking about companies that are the Indian equivalents of the Japanese automotive plants in various U.S. regions.
If you know of any beyond the Tata Group/Pierre Hotel/Eight O'Clock Coffee sited above, please list them in the comments section below.