What Is an American Multinational Corporation?

An American multinational corporation is a company based in the United States that has wholly or partially owned foreign subsidiaries. U.S. companies have taken advantage of efficiencies offered by foreign markets since the mid-19th century. Singer is reported to be the first American multinational company.

Large, successful American multinationals in 2014 include Microsoft and Apple. Apple has a large presence in the manufacturing sector in China and also sells personal electronics through foreign subsidiaries around the world. Other American multinationals have included Eastman Kodak, Westinghouse, General Electric and Standard Oil. Some American firms have faced criticism for their labor practices abroad. The rate at which the value of Apple's shares has increased has outpaced the broad equity market by a wide margin since going public in 1980.