Foreign Investment:

Federal Data Collection on Foreign Investment in the United States

NSIAD-90-25BR: Published: Oct 3, 1989. Publicly Released: Oct 23, 1989.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on various federal agencies' efforts to collect data on foreign investment in the United States.

GAO found that: (1) although the Departments of Commerce and the Treasury had primary responsibility for collecting information on direct and portfolio investments, 15 other federal agencies or departments collected statistical data and other information on foreign investment in the United States; (2) agencies did not routinely make some information available to other agencies, since the information was considered proprietary; (3) some of the data lacked sufficient detail to make it possible to analyze specific industry sectors and, in some cases, was 2 or more years old when finally published; (4) the federal government had no central repository to track or store all of the information necessary to analyze the foreign investments; (5) agencies had the authority to ensure business compliance with foreign investment reporting; and (6) there was some duplication of data by the various agencies in carrying out their responsibilities.

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