David Rubenstein
Managing Director, The Carlyle Group
01:28

Re: What is your position on foreign direct investment?

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America has a schizophrenic relationship with foreign direct investment.


David Rubenstein

David M. Rubenstein is a Co-Founder and Managing Director of The Carlyle Group, one of the world’s largest private equity firms. Mr. Rubenstein co-founded the firm in 1987. Since then, Carlyle has grown into a firm managing more than $85 billion from 29 offices around the world.  Prior to co-founding Carlyle in 1987, Mr. Rubenstein practiced law in New York, with the firm of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison; served as deputy assistant to the president for domestic policy in the Carter administration; and practiced law in Washington, D.C., with the firm of Shaw, Pittman, Potts & Trowbridge. Mr. Rubenstein is a member of the Board of Directors of The Council on Foreign Relations, the Institute for International Economics and Freedom House; the Board of Trustees of Johns Hopkins University, Duke University, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, the Center for Strategic and International Studies and the Dance Theatre of Harlem; and a member of the Visiting Committee of the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard and the National Advisory Committee of J.P. Morgan Chase. He is based in Washington, DC.

Transcript
Well, I think the United States has a schizophrenic view on foreign direct investment. We want the ability to let our companies invest anywhere around the world unfettered. And anytime any of our countries . . . companies are not allowed to invest around the world, we yell “protectionism” and we complain that people are not being fair to our country. On the other hand when people want to invest in this country we get upset. The Dubai port situation was an embarrassment to our country. When China looked at buying – through one of its oil companies – Unocal, we acted as if the Red Army was about to invade Los Angeles. Now the truth is we try to have it both ways and we really shouldn’t. We should encourage our companies in the United States to invest overseas. I think that produces great . . . greater wealth for people in the United States. I think it produces greater cooperation among countries and companies. But I think we should be very open to foreigners investing in this country. And I think we have to recognize that as the world is shifting its wealth away from the United States towards the Far East and the Middle East, that those sources of capital in the Far East and the Middle East are going to increasingly invest in places like the United States, and we shouldn’t view this as criminal.

Recorded on: 9/13/07


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