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May 2 -- The Bureau of Economic Analysis, Department of Commerce, invites public comments by July 1, 2024 regarding the proposed revision of the Benchmark Survey of U.S. Direct Investment Abroad (BE- 10).

The Benchmark Survey of U.S. Direct Investment Abroad (BE- 10) obtains data on the financial structure and operations of U.S. parents and their foreign affiliates. The data are needed to provide reliable, useful, and timely measures of U.S. direct investment abroad, measure changes in such investment, and assess its impact on the U.S. and foreign economies. Such data are generally found in enterprise-level accounting records of respondent companies. The benchmark data provide a baseline for subsequent sample-based estimates in non-benchmark years. In particular, they serve as benchmarks for the quarterly direct investment estimates included in the U.S. international transactions, international investment position, and national income and product accounts, and for annual estimates of the U.S. direct investment abroad position and of the activities of U.S. multinational enterprises. The data collected include balance sheets; income statements; property, plant, and equipment; employment and employee compensation; merchandise trade; sales of goods and services; taxes; and research and development activity.

The Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) proposes the following changes:

Data items to be added:

-- Employment—A question will be added to the Employment section of the BE-10A form to collect data on employees who are on the payroll of the U.S. company but live overseas on a permanent basis. This would include full and part-time employees that work for a foreign affiliate but are paid by the U.S. parent company, and those employees that were hired, or moved, abroad to fill a remote-work position offered by the U.S. parent.

-- Equity investment—A question will be added to the Assets section of the BE-10C form to collect equity investment in other foreign affiliates, consistent with the BE-10B form.

Data items to be modified:

-- Supplement A—Will be modified on the BE-10B and C forms to offer more options for the reasons the foreign business enterprises changed since last reported, such as options for “acquired” or “established” if it is a “new” enterprise, and to identify the date of the transaction for new enterprises.

-- Advertising—Question 109 which collects advertising sales data on the BE-10B form will be expanded to capture additional sales detail by affiliated and unaffiliated customer.

-- Digital economy—Questions on services provided via digital intermediation platforms collected on the BE-10A (items 60-62) and BE-10B (item 108), and questions on digital delivery and digital ordering collected on the BE-10A (items 63-65) and BE-10B forms (items 110-112) will be modified to more accurately reflect terminology used by BEA survey respondents, and to reflect updates to the definitions of digitally ordered and delivered in the Handbook on Measuring Digital Trade (second edition) jointly authored by the International Monetary Fund, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, the World Trade Organization, and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.

This survey is a benchmark survey, or census. The potential respondent universe for the 2024 Benchmark Survey of U.S. Direct Investment Abroad, BE-10, consists of all U.S. persons (in the broad legal sense, including companies) that own 10 percent or more of the voting securities of an incorporated foreign business enterprise, or an equivalent interest in an unincorporated foreign business enterprise. Persons subject to the reporting requirements of the BE-10, Benchmark Survey of U.S. Direct Investment Abroad, would be required to respond, whether or not they are contacted by BEA.

BEA will provide respondents with advance notice of the survey by mailing them an announcement of the upcoming survey as soon as possible after the survey has been approved by OMB. Later, in March, respondents will receive notification by mail of their obligation to file; responses covering a reporting company's fiscal year ending during the previous calendar year are due by May 31.

U.S. Direct Investment Abroad: https://www.bea.gov/international/di1usdop
FRN: https://www.federalregister.gov/d/2024-09482

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