What's new about foreign auto plants in the US?

Daniel Altman thinks it’s notable that Fiat and Volkswagen are thinking about building automobile plants in the United States. But that’s far from remarkable. Toyota has been building plants in the American South for years.

So if this story is newsworthy, it must be so because there is something distinct about European investment in the States or because it highlights the magnitude of the dollar’s fall. It’s not news that America has run a trade deficit for years, which is the same as saying its enjoyed significant net capital inflows for years, including investments in automobile plants.