Choosing the United States

United States

Midwest Region


United States

The US has the largest economy in the world, with a per capita Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of more than $47,100 and a population of over 300 million people.  The systems of regulation and taxation in the US give foreign investors ample operational freedom.  The US, with 50 states, comprises a continental economy in which virtually every industrial sector has a major presence.

Because of the size, legal structure and international linkages that characterize the US economy, there is arguably more opportunity for success in the US than other countries in the world.  The sheer size of the US market means that firms even with a small total market share can realize significant revenue streams and profits in the US.  Furthermore, the US firms have easy access to export markets since the US is one of the most internationally engaged economies in the world. 

Investing in the US has many advantages, below are just a few:

1. Purchasing Power – The US is the largest and wealthiest economy in the world.  US consumer demand for goods and services is considerable, even in light of recent economic downturn.  The US manufacturing sector is one of the world’s largest and its demand for high-quality manufacturing inputs is strong.  In addition, the US maintains free trade agreements with 17 partner countries, giving foreign investors in the US unparalleled access to diverse markets.

2. Research and Development –The US is one of the world’s leaders in science and technology, accounting for one-third of global research and development spending among OECD members.  The US is the center for global innovation and ranks first for venture capital availability. 

3. Education – Six of the top ten universities and five of the best full-time MBA programs in the world are in the US.  There are more than 4,000 universities and colleges in the US.  Furthermore, more than 690,000 international students were enrolled in American universities in 2009/2010 academic year. 

4. Productive Workforce – Investors in the US gain access to a highly productive and adaptive workforce.  The US leads the world in labor productivity per person employed (total hours worked).

5. Transportation/Infrastructure – The US has the largest paved roadway system, railway network and number of airports in the world.  Three of the top ten airports by air cargo volume are in the US, including the busiest cargo airport in the world.  The US is also home to some of the world’s busiest international bulk cargo and container ports. 

6. Hospitable Society – the US is a friendly and hospitable country, where many foreigners live and invest.  As a nation of immigrants, the US is committed to affording all foreign investors fair and equitable treatment. (Source:  Select USA)

Fact Sheets and Resource Links

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Midwest Region

Midwest Central Location 
A Wisconsin location offers close proximity to major markets in the Midwest and Canada.  Ideally situated on one of the largest fresh water lakes (Lake Michigan), one of five of the Great Lakes, Wisconsin is centrally located in the US allowing businesses to reach both the west and east coasts and Canada.  This proximity saves money on freight costs and increases the efficiency of just-in-time production activities.   See the following link for an overview of the Midwest economy

Another source for summary information can be found at the following link.

The Great Lakes States and Providences 
The Great Lakes States and Providences rivals most international countries when comparing Gross Product  - United States is Number 1 with $14.1 T in GDP, Japan with $5B; China with $4.9B and the Great Lakes & St. Lawrence Economy (Midwest and Great Lakes Bordering Canadian Providences) at $4.6B. (Source: World Business Chicago)

Central Time Zone
For international companies, a key asset to locating your business in Wisconsin is our time zone.  Staff in your European location can communicate with your Wisconsin location which is just 7 hours behind. 

With a location in the Midwest, you have access to (within 500 miles or one-day shipping):

  • 33% of the total US population
  • 38% of all US manufacturing volume
  • 31% of all US manufacturing operations
  • 30% of all US businesses
  • 22% of all Canadian population
  • 27% of all Canadian manufacturing volume
  • 46% of all Canadian manufacturing operations

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Advantages of Locating in Wisconsin

Proximity to Major Markets
Chicago is a thriving metropolis and its proximity is one of the key attributes of locating a business operation in Wisconsin, especially southeast Wisconsin.  The greater Chicago area is home to 9.5 million residents, 4.3 million employees and a gross regional product of nearly $500 billion.  Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport has 2,900 daily flights including direct and nonstop service to more than 200 cities worldwide.

Although Chicago has many attributes, all of this comes at a cost.  To reduce location and operational costs, companies to locate in southeast Wisconsin which has a lower cost of doing business while still affording efficient access to the Chicago market. 

With an improving business climate and a reputation in key industries, there are key industry leaders in Wisconsin, including some that you may not be aware of. We are investing in job creation, workforce development, economic development, schools and infrastructure. For these reasons and more, many businesses have chosen and continue to choose to do business in Wisconsin.  See Governor Walker's video message below.



Business Advantages

  • Wisconsin's business taxes are among the lowest in the country due to property tax exemptions for manufacturing machinery and equipment, computers and computer equipment, inventories and pollution-control equipment.
  • Wisconsin provides tax credits for energy used in manufacturing and for R&D expenditures.
  • Wisconsin has single-sales-factor tax treatment and a 60% capital gains exclusion; no unitary tax on foreign-owned corporations; no inheritance and gift taxes.
  • Wisconsin's worker's compensation rates for most industries consistently rank among the lowest in the country.
  • Wisconsin electric rates are among the lowest in the country; commercial and industrial water and sewer rates are also among the lowest in the nation.
  • Wisconsin has one of the lowest cost of living indices in the country.

​Wisconsin Business Climate and Taxes

  • Wages in Wisconsin are below the national average Wisconsin's average wages are 11.6% below the national average of $36,764 (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics).
  • Wisconsin is among the top 15 states in industrial production. Wisconsin ranks 3rd nationally in percentage of total jobs that are in manufacturing (Bureau of Labor Statistics).
  • International trade leader. Wisconsin recorded a 1.86% increase in exports compared to a 5.17% national decline. The future of Wisconsin depends on key industries to increase trade between other countries.

Wisconsin is business-friendly. It offers a variety of tax incentives for corporations and other businesses to locate or expand their operations within the state. Available tax incentives include exemptions, credits, and other special corporate tax treatment along with preferential treatment of capital gains.  Contact our staff to find out if your business qualifies for tax incentives or other incentives.

State Comparisons and Other Resources

Visit the following link for resources documenting WI locational advantages compared to other states for electric rates and worker’s compensation. 

Source: Forward Wisconsin – select this link for a list of additional locational advantages 

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