Made in America… by Chinese-based companies

China 24

As Chinese entrepreneurs become more innovative at home, they are also expanding their physical presence and doing more business in the United States.

CGTN’s Jessica Stone reports.

Chinese companies have been coming to America, making everything from candles to paper, copper to glass.

“It’s actually easier to do business here than in China,” Cao Dewang, chairman of the board for Fuyao Glass said. “It’s easier to make money here than in China.”

Easier to make money because for some Chinese companies it’s cheaper to produce goods in the U.S. The Council of American States in China cites as proof the example of one manufacturer saving $40,000 a day in electricity costs.

“The low utility cost, and then the land is abundant and very inexpensive,” according to the group’s president John Ling. “And also logistics cost of shipping things, and also being able to, once you set up cooperation here in the U.S., you don’t need to pay any import duties.”

Ling said Chinese restrictions on moving capital offshore haven’t slowed the pace of investment here.

“If it falls into main line of business, for the most part, the Chinese government still encourages qualified Chinese companies to go beyond border (to make an appropriate investment decision.)”

Fuyao Glass is one of those companies benefiting. It’s making a billion dollar bet on America, building the world’s largest auto glass factory in the state of Ohio.

“The U.S. automobile business said there’s not enough glass and they want me to invest more,” according to Cao. “I said yes.”

Saying ‘yes’ will save the company big money on shipping costs and tariffs. And with Donald Trump’s “America First” campaign, the “Made in America” label could give some U.S. consumers added incentive to buy Chinese.

“We have many buyers. They specifically ask to have their candles made in the U.S. factory,” David Wang, co-owner of Chesapeake Bay Candle, said.

Since 2000, Chinese companies have invested in almost every U.S. state. More than 140,000 Americans now work for Chinese-affiliated companies.

When Golden Dragon Copper opened a plant in the state of Alabama, it hired 300 workers.

“I really didn’t have no other choice. It was the only option that I had, because there’s not any work here,” employee Laura Lewis said.

By the end of 2018, Fuyao Glass aims to have 2,500 people working in its Ohio plant. Employees said they welcome the expansion, and hope to keep moving up the ladder to better positions in a growing company.

But it’s not just Chinese companies that are growing. American interest in China has been on the rise as well.

“One day I would love to go to China and see how their business operates, so we can bring information from them to here,” Print Room Team Leader Shawnta Dix said.

At this rate though, American workers won’t have to make the trip China to acquire Chinese know-how. They’ll just have to commute to work.

Haiyan Wang discusses China’s increasing trade links with the world

CGTN’s Elaine Reyes spoke with Haiyan Wang, managing partner of China-India Institute, about China’s increasing trade links with the world.