BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – At a recent summit of American and Australian chief executives in Washington, D.C., Indiana University President Michael A. McRobbie presented findings of an economic report prepared in part by two research centers in the Kelley School of Business.
The American Australian Business Council commissioned the report, which highlights a deep and multifaceted economic relationship between the two countries. The organization consists of C-suite leaders who seek to foster active dialogue, encourage innovation, improve trade and support growth on both sides of the Pacific. Members include a who’s-who of U.S. and Australian companies.
Researchers from IU worked with a team from the U.S. Studies Centre at the University of Sydney, whose chief executive, Simon Jackman, on April 16 presented report findings with McRobbie (the two are pictured above).
McRobbie serves on the advisory council for the government-funded center, which seeks to provide Australians with a deep and balanced understanding of the U.S. through teaching, research and public engagement. Now in its 13th year of existence, the center also provides support for scholarly exchanges between Australia and the U.S.
According to the report, the symbiotic financial relationship between the two countries is remarkable.
Nearly 30 percent of Australia’s outbound investment – about $470 billion – is made annually in the United States each year, which is 12 times what the country invests in China. This figure is equivalent to 40 percent of Australia’s gross domestic product.
More than 1,000 Australian companies conduct business in the United States with total assets of $238 billion. Between 2009 and 2018, Australian-based firms made nearly 400 new investment announcements across 41 states. These projects are expected to create more than 31,000 jobs and spur $11 billion in capital spending.
Australia has the third most favorable trade balance with the U.S. Exports of U.S. goods there have soared in recent years, by 37 percent since 2006. In 2015, exports to Australia supported 265,000 American jobs, an increase of more than 100,000 since 2006, when the Australia-United States Free Trade Agreement took effect.
“The United States is Australia’s largest outbound and inbound investment partner and its third-largest trading partner,” McRobbie said. “As the report makes clear, and as the tripling of Australian investment in the United States since 2001 underscores, there are many attractive and compelling competitive advantages for Australian businesses investing in the United States.”
The report, “Australia and the United States: State of the Economic Union,” was presented at AABC’s 2019 CEO Summit. Other summit presenters included Kevin Hassett, chairman of the U.S. Council of Economic Advisers; Larry Kudlow, director of the U.S. National Economic Council; and Robert Lighthizer, U.S. trade representative.
Contributing to the report from Kelley were LaVonn Schlegel, executive director, and Suzanne Lodato, director of proposal development and research communications, at the Institute for International Business; and Carol O. Rogers, deputy director and chief information officer, and Matt Kinghorn, senior demographic analyst, at the Indiana Business Research Center. They were joined by Tom Guevara, director of the IU Public Policy Institute in the Paul H. O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs.
“Indiana University, through its Kelley School of Business and its O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs, was extremely pleased to have worked with the AABC and the United States Studies Centre in the preparation of this report which will help launch future substantive conversation and collaboration between government officials, business leaders and members of the academic community in Australia and the U.S.,” McRobbie said.
“We are honored to be asked to provide this kind of analysis on an international level,” Schlegel said. “It was a marvelous opportunity for us to take a seat at the table with these CEOs and raise their awareness of IU. It’s our hope that we will continue our involvement with the AABC. It’s another opportunity for Kelley to continue to expand our impact and work not only domestically but internationally.”
McRobbie’s complete remarks are available on the president’s website.