Article | Harvard Business Review | March 2012

Choosing the United States

by Michael E. Porter and Jan W. Rivkin


The U.S. is not winning its appropriate share of location decisions, even those involving the high-value-adding activities that the country has long been able to attract. In part, this is because U.S. policy makers are not addressing weaknesses in the national business environment and are doing little to fight economic distortions that disfavor location in the United States. In addition, executives are prone to leave or overlook U.S. locations because they ignore many hidden costs associated with offshoring and do not consider how to enhance the economic potential of U.S. locations. Although both government and business must urgently address some unnecessary weaknesses in the U.S. business environment, there are hopeful signs that sophisticated management teams are reevaluating their rush offshore and, in some instances, are moving high-end mobile activities back to the United States.

Keywords: Decision Choices and Conditions; United States;


Porter, Michael E., and Jan W. Rivkin. "Choosing the United States." Harvard Business Review 90, no. 3 (March 2012): 80–91.