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The jobs created far from offset what American politicians and some economists see as the millions of jobs lost because of China’s currency policies and theft of intellectual property. Also, Chinese investment, especially in telecommunications and other sensitive businesses, isn’t always welcome.
But the growth in investment underscores how the relationship between the US and China is more complicated than depicted on the campaign trail. Cheap Chinese products have benefited American consumers, and China’s massive purchases of Treasury securities have helped finance the US budget deficit.
And while Chinese investment in the US is barely off the starting blocks given the size of its economy, some believe it could become a major source for American jobs.
“There’s a huge amount of ignorance in the US market place of how to take advantage of potential Chinese investment,” said Larry Morrissey, independent mayor of Rockford, Illinois, a city of 150,000 which hosts three major Chinese companies. While money is tight in the US, he said, Chinese firms want to invest and have the funds to do it.
But in the presidential campaign, China seems to attract only negative attention.
“They steal our intellectual property rights. They block access to their markets. They manipulate their currency,” Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan told supporters in Ohio last week. He accused President Barack Obama of allowing China to treat him like a “doormat” and vowed Mitt Romney would crack down on China cheating.
Obama, who has sought deeper ties with China, says his administration has nevertheless stepped up trade complaints, and announced one in response to Chinese tariffs on US auto exports during a campaign trip to Ohio in July.
But the administration, as well as the Republican-supporting US Chamber of Commerce, are actively seeking Chinese investment. They want to capitalise on the ambitions of state-owned and private Chinese companies to expand from the developing world to developed countries.
The private Rhodium Group, which closely tracks Chinese foreign direct investment, or FDI, puts the total attracted to the US since 2000 at USD 20.9 billion. It predicts that Chinese companies could invest between USD 1 trillion and USD 2 trillion internationally by 2020 and a significant chunk could come to the US.
Source: Economic Times