United States Economic Policy and International Relations

By Raymond F. Mikesell | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 13
International Investment Policy: II

IN THIS chapter we shall be concerned with the President's Point Four program and the implications of present United States investment policies for the long-run foreign-investment position of the United States. We shall begin the discussion with a brief statistical analysis of the pattern of United States foreign investment since the war.


United States Government Foreign Investment, 1946 to 1950

Table 10 shows the foreign credits of United States government agencies during the period from V-J Day to the end of 1950. The vast bulk of the United States governmental capital outflow during this period represented emergency-type reconstruction and balance-of-payments loans such as the large loans to Western Europe by the Export-Import Bank, the lend-lease pipe-line credits, the $3¾ billion loan to Britain, and the loans made to European Recovery Program countries by the Economic Cooperation Administration. If, in the future, United States governmental and International Bank loans are confined to developmental-type loans, we may expect, if present policies continue, a much smaller volume of capital outflow than took place in the 1946 to 1948 period.1 This is indicated by the experience in 1950 during which Export-Import Bank loan disbursements amounted to $200 million (offset by repayments of $160 million) and disbursements of the International Bank amounted to only $75 million. Unless there occurs a substantial increase in the volume of lending by public investment institutions, net capital outflow from the United States is likely to remain at a relatively low level in the future.

The expansion of lending by public international lending institutions will depend both on the lending policies of these institutions and on the willingness of the United States to supplement their existing resources. Assuming that the power of the International Bank to make dollar loans

____________________
1
Table 10 does not include International Bank loans since the Bank is not an agency of the United States government. Dollar-loan disbursements by the International Bank were $299.9 million in 1947, $193.2 million in 1948, $61.8 million in 1949, and $67.4 million in 1950, making a total of $622.3 million since the Bank began lending operations. The United States government's paid-in subscription to the Bank is $635 million.

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