October 9, 2020

Jana Plat
(202) 861-1270

Washington, D.C. — Today, Business Forward Foundation released a report on the dramatic drop in America’s global standing under President Trump — and the impact that drop has had on U.S. exports and foreign investment here. The “Trump Slump” in Exports and Foreign Investment combines findings from Pew Research’s annual “Global Attitudes” survey with economic data and case studies from some of our most important industries.

“Under Trump, ‘America first’ means ‘America alone,’ and that’s bad for business,” said Jim Doyle, president of Business Forward. 

According to Pew’s survey of 13 advanced economies, respondents trusted Obama five times more in 2016 than they trust Trump in 2020, and America’s favorability has fallen by about half during those same four years (2016 to 2020).* 

“Trump’s policies and rhetoric have cost the U.S. hundreds of billions of dollars in exports and foreign investment, putting millions of U.S. jobs at risk,” explained Doyle.  “Meanwhile, China and Russia have gained at our expense.”

Foreign investment fell from $380 billion in 2016 to $195 billion in 2019. From 2017 to 2019, investment was $360 billion below 2016 levels. Meanwhile, the U.S. trade deficit was $87 billion larger in 2019 than 2016. 

This “Trump Slump” is particularly bad for America’s “advanced industries,” which are responsible for 60% of U.S. exports. Those industries support one in four U.S. jobs. Because more than half of their jobs do not require a college degree, they are also a major driver of economic opportunity.

*confidence and favorability calculated using 13-country median, consistent with Pew in 2020



The Business Forward Foundation is an independent research and education organization that takes a business-minded look at policy issues affecting America’s economic competitiveness. Our work combines insights and advice from business leaders across the country with rigorous policy analysis. Through white papers, issue briefs, conference calls, and other events, we educate policy makers and the public about climate change, immigration reform, infrastructure investment, the future of work, and other critical issues.