FOREIGN DIRECT INVESTMENT & TRADE
From Oregon Investment Guide 2024
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International Companies’ Oregon Operations Expand

FDI deals are a gold mine in Oregon.

FOREIGN DIRECT INVESTMENT & TRADE
Daimler Truck North America LLC and its market leading brand, Freightliner, debuted the SuperTruck II in 2023, showcasing innovative features that are poised to deliver the next level of freight efficiency.
Photo courtesy of Daimler Truck North America

by MARK AREND
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wo foreign-owned companies are among the top 10 on career-planning website Zippia’s list of the 100 largest companies by number of employees in Oregon. Portland-based Daimler Truck North America (DTNA), a subsidiary of Germany’s Daimler Truck AG, weighs in at number three, with 34,000 employees — about 3,000 in the Portland area. AkzoNobel Coatings, a division of Dutch multinational AkzoNobel N.V., employs 30,000 workers from its headquarters in Salem, making it seventh.

More than 745 companies based outside the United States have operations in Oregon, which combined employ about 70,300, according to Global Business Alliance (GBA), which advocates for and tracks foreign direct investment (FDI) nationally and at the state level. About a quarter of those jobs are in the manufacturing sector.

Foreign investment in Oregon is very much on the ascent. GBA reports that from 2016 to 2021, FDI employment increased 19%. Overall private-sector employment during that time grew just 3%. International employers from the United Kingdon, Germany and Japan account for the largest number of FDI jobs.

Where Exports Are Going,
And Where They’re From

Oregon exported $27.7 billion worth of goods in 2023, an increase of 49% from 2013, according to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative. Exports accounted for 8.8% of the state’s GDP last year. Manufactured products, particularly computer and electronic products, accounted for the vast majority of export value, at $25.7 billion. Transportation equipment, machinery, chemicals and plastics were among Oregon’s top exports in 2023.

Mexico was the top recipient of Oregon exports with $6.6 billion worth, or 24%, heading south of the border. Rounding out the top five export destinations were China ($4 billion), Canada ($3.5 billion), Malaysia ($2.6 billion) and Ireland ($1.3 billion).

Exports in 2022, notes the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, came mainly from eight metropolitan areas: Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro ($34.4 billion), Albany-Lebanon ($714.8 million), Eugene-Springfield ($434.9 million), Salem ($422.3 million), Corvallis ($269.8 million), Medford ($224 million), Bend ($155.8 million) and Grants Pass ($50.9 million).

Daimler’s Double Expansion
In May, DTNA announced the addition of two facilities at its headquarters on Swan Island, near Portland. It will build an Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment training center at its Electric Island commercial vehicle charging operation. The $3 million center will be used by the company’s dealer network and by those in the area with an interest in clean transportation.

The truck manufacturer also is investing $40 million to build an engineering facility at its campus. The 110,000-sq.-ft. center will bring testing to one location where research and development will explore emerging propulsion technologies, including electric and hydrogen-fueled systems.

“Daimler Truck North America is proud to call Portland, Oregon, our home,” said John O’Leary, president and CEO of DTNA, in a statement. “We appreciate the City and State’s support of our expansion plans to further promote the development and proper testing of advanced technology and look forward to collaborating for many more years to come on training and employing a future-ready workforce.

In 2023, hynix Semiconductor Manufacturing America (HSMA), the U.S. subsidiary of hynix Semiconductor Inc. of South Korea, announced a $100 million upgrade to its dynamic random-access memory (DRAM) fabrication facility in Eugene, Oregon. The company has invested $1.6 billion at the site to date where it employs about 850 people.

“We at HSMA are proud that our parent company has committed to keeping the Eugene facility at the cutting edge of semiconductor manufacturing technology,” Jerold Olson, a hynix spokesperson, stated in a release. “This upgrade will assure that our Oregon facility continues to compete at the highest levels of the global semiconductor market. It sends a strong message about hynix’s confidence in the future of the industry and the company.”

Mark Arend
Editor Emeritus of Site Selection magazine

Mark Arend

Mark Arend is editor emeritus of Site Selection, and previously served as editor in chief from 2001 to 2023. Prior to joining the editorial staff in 1997, he worked for 10 years in New York City at Wall Street Computer Review, ABA Banking Journal and Global Investment Technology. Mark graduated from the University of Hartford (Conn.) in 1985 and lives near Atlanta, Georgia.

 

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