The surging value of the US dollar in 2015 has greatly impacted the global business landscape, significantly constraining US competitiveness.
The high value of the US dollar drives down the cost of doing business in all other countries, when measured in US dollar terms. The US now
stands out as a high cost business location relative to its peers, with the cost gap between the US and ninth-ranked Japan being as wide as the
range of costs from Japan through to second-ranked Canada.
As a NAFTA member and the only high growth (emerging) country included in the study, Mexico represents the lowest-cost country
examined. In 2016, Mexico’s business cost advantage over the US stands at 22.5 percent, higher than at any point in this decade.
Canada maintains its second place rank among the 10 countries, with business costs 14.6 percent below the US. Similarly, the
Netherlands retains in third place, with a 12.3 percent cost advantage over the US.
Italy and Australia move up in the rankings this year to fourth and fifth places in the standings, with
very similar overall costs.
France ranks sixth and the United Kingdom seventh in the standings, with France moving ahead of the UK and
both countries now falling behind Italy in the standings among the European countries.
Germany and Japan rank eighth and ninth, with Germany regaining a lead over Japan as had been seen previously
in both 2010 and 2012.
The United States completes the set of countries, in tenth place—the only time the US has ever placed this low in Competitive