China-US com­merce to get ‘open, con­nected, cre­ative’

Chi­nese-led fac­to­ries in Amer­ica, di­rect flights, air­craft or­ders make in­dus­try cap­tains op­ti­mistic about fu­ture

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - BUSINESS - By XIN­HUA in New York

“Through my brother’s eyes, I saw fac­tory af­ter fac­tory closed, un­em­ploy­ment grew, Day­ton [a city in Ohio] be­came hol­lowed out,” said Stephen A Or­lins, pres­i­dent of the Na­tional Com­mit­tee on United States-China Re­la­tions, but great changes have taken place due to in­vest­ment from China.

Or­lins was quite emo­tional when re­call­ing the grand open­ing of the new­est US fa­cil­ity of Fuyao Glass In­dus­try Group, a Chi­nese com­pany lead­ing the world’s au­to­mo­tive glass man­u­fac­tur­ing, in early Oc­to­ber in his home­town.

“That morn­ing two months ago, I watched the re­birth of a com­mu­nity be­cause Fuyao Glass, a Chi­nese com­pany, took over the closed Gen­eral Motors fac­tory, and cre­ated 2,500 US jobs,” Or­lins said at the or­ga­ni­za­tion’s 50 th an­niver­sary gala last week.

Upon com­ple­tion, Fuyao Glass Amer­ica, a nearly 470,000-square-me­ter fa­cil­ity housed in Gen­eral Motors’ for­mer as­sem­bly plant, will be the largest glass fab­ri­ca­tion plant in the world.

This rep­re­sents $450 mil­lion in to­tal in­vest­ment by Fuyao, the largest Chi­nese in­vest­ment in Ohio his­tory and the eighth largest di­rect for­eign in­vest­ment in the US in the past decade.

“I know I have glimpsed the promised land of a con­struc­tive US-China re­la­tions and I know we’ ll get there,” Or­lins said, para­phras­ing Dr Martin Luther King Jr from his fa­mous civil rights speech in 1966.

Or­lins was not alone in hav­ing a glimpse of sound re­la­tions be­tween the world’s largest de­vel­oped coun­try and the largest de­vel­op­ing coun­try.

“China is enor­mously im­por­tant to our suc­cess as a com­pany and as a ma­jor US ex­porter,” said Ray­mond L Con­ner, vice chair­man of Boe­ing, the largest US ex­porter, in his speech at the event.

More than 50 per­cent of the com­mer­cial air­craft op­er­at­ing in China are Boe­ing air­planes, he said.

Boe­ing has fore­cast that in the next 20 years, China will

I watched the re­birth of a com­mu­nity be­cause Fuyao Glass, a Chi­nese com­pany, took over the closed GM fac­tory, and cre­ated 2,500 US jobs.” Stephen A Or­lins, pres­i­dent of the Na­tional Com­mit­tee on United States-China Re­la­tions

work­ers de­mand 6,810 new air­craft with a to­tal value of about $1 tril­lion. This de­mand will make China the big­gest cus­tomer of Boe­ing com­mer­cial air­planes.

Chi­nese cus­tomers are ex­pected to take de­liv­ery of 30 per­cent of all Boe­ing’s top-sell­ing 737 mod­els and about 25 per­cent of all air­craft pro­duced in Wash­ing­ton State and South Carolina, Con­ner said.

He said: “Ob­vi­ously, th­ese de­liv­er­ies are very sig­nif­i­cant to the al­most 76,000 Boe­ing em­ploy­ees who de­sign, as­sem­ble and sup­port our com­mer­cial air­planes.

“It’s also very sig­nif­i­cant to the 1.5 mil­lion peo­ple in jobs who are sup­ported through our sup­ply chain here in the United States, and also for the com­mu­ni­ties, where all th­ese busi­nesses and peo­ple live and work across all 50 states.

“Clearly the Chi­nese avi­a­tion mar­ket con­tin­ues to grow, so we’re go­ing to con­tinue to see the num­ber of the US jobs at Boe­ing and through­out our sup­ply chain con­tinue to grow as well.”

Con­ner joined Boe­ing in 1977, five years af­ter Pres­i­dent Richard Nixon’s ground­break­ing visit to China in Fe­bru­ary 1972.

“Just to give you a sense of the broader im­pact on the US econ­omy, de­liv­er­ies to China by Boe­ing sup­port ap­prox­i­mately 150,000 US jobs ev­ery year. That’s an in­cred­i­ble num­ber,” he said.

De­scrib­ing Boe­ing’s part­ner­ship with China as “amaz­ing,” Con­ner said a sound USChina re­la­tion­ship is “vi­tally im­por­tant to the world, cer­tainly to the United States and China alike.”

He said: “We are all stronger for work­ing to­gether through the years, and we cer­tainly look for­ward to the op­por­tu­ni­ties to con­tinue to strengthen, and cel­e­brate th­ese ties that are so im­por­tant to our mu­tual suc­cess.”

Os­car Munoz, United Air­lines CEO, also echoed Or­lins’ and Con­ner’s con­fi­dence in the fu­ture of US-China re­la­tions.

“I see a f uture t hat is in­creas­ingly open, con­nected, col­lab­o­ra­tive and cre­ative,” he said. “That’s a fu­ture that is in­creas­ingly de­fined by win-win men­tal­ity rather than zero sum con­text be­tween closed mar­kets, and that has never worked, as for­mer US Sec­re­tary of State Henry Kissinger said, and never will work.”

United Air­lines, which now flies a to­tal of 100 weekly flights to six Chi­nese des­ti­na­tions — Beijing, Shang­hai, Hong Kong, Xi’an, Chengdu and Hangzhou — is for­mu­lat­ing strate­gies to meet the trav­el­ing needs of in­nu­mer­able peo­ple in China, Munoz said.

Statis­tics from the Wall Street Journal show that while Chi­nese in­vest­ment in the US was next to zero in 2006, it jumped to more than $20 bil­lion in 2015.

More than $5 bil­lion of Chi­nese in­vest­ments in the US were com­pleted in the first three months of 2016 alone, ac­cord­ing to a study re­leased in April by the NCUSCR and a re­search firm, Rhodium Group.

The largest was Dalian Wanda Group’s $3.5 bil­lion ac­qui­si­tion of the Hol­ly­wood stu­dio Leg­endary En­ter­tain­ment, known for Bat­man movie The Dark Knight and di­nosaur sci­ence-fic­tion ad­ven­ture Juras­sic World, among other movies.

With the US state of Cal­i­for­nia re­main­ing a top des­ti­na­tion, Chi­nese in­vest­ment in the US is in­creas­ingly spread through­out the na­tion into hos­pi­tals, car parts and other in­dus­tries, ac­cord­ing to the study.

China pumped $59 bil­lion into the US from 2000 through to De­cem­ber 2015, buy­ing or cre­at­ing more than 1,900 com­pa­nies that em­ploy 90,000 work­ers, it said.

Chi­nese gar­ments man­u­fac­turer Tianyuan Gar­ment and Knit­ting Co Ltd an­nounced in Oc­to­ber that it will build a fac­tory to pro­duce cloth­ing for brands such as Adi­das, Ar­mani and Ree­bok in Lit­tle Rock, Arkansas. Sched­uled to open in 2017, the $20 mil­lion fac­tory is ex­pected to bring 400 jobs to Arkansas in the next four years.

the amount of Chi­nese in­vest­ment in the US from 2000 through to De­cem­ber 2015 em­ployed by more than 1,900 com­pa­nies that Chi­nese in­vestors have bought or cre­ated in the US from 2000-15


Work­ers han­dle panes of glass at the Fuyao Glass Amer­ica plant in Mo­raine, Ohio. The plant serves as the Chi­nese com­pany’s North Amer­i­can hub for re­cy­cled glass man­u­fac­tur­ing. Fuyao Glass In­dus­try Group took over the closed Gen­eral Motors fac­tory in Ohio and cre­ated 2,500 US jobs.

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