My Mercatus Center colleague Dan Griswold exposes the fallacies in Trump trade advisor Peter Navarro’s (and Warren Buffett’s) claim that foreign inflows of capital (such as occur whenever the U.S. runs a trade deficit) result in a takeover of the U.S. by foreigners. A slice:
From 2000 through the third quarter of 2016, the value of U.S. assets owned by foreigners did indeed increase by $23.4 trillion, from $9.2 trillion to $32.6 trillion. But in that same time, the net worth of U.S. households and non-profits increased by $47.3 trillion, to $90.8 trillion. The net worth of U.S. businesses, corporate and non-corporate, increased by another $18.7 trillion. While the foreign stake in our economy continues to grow, the net worth of American households and businesses has grown by an even larger amount. Our net worth is not being transferred anywhere except to the bottom line of our own balance sheets.
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