Part of Beijing’s strategy was to encourage Chinese companies to invest overseas as a way to build their global presence to find markets for excess supply. The strategy also could boost Chinese exports. That’s because foreign firms generally look to home companies for supplies.
Bob Davis reports: South Carolina officials have fished successfully in foreign waters for investment over the past decade. Now they’re even reeling in catches from China, a nation blamed throughout the state for battering South Carolina’s economy over the past two decades.
“No one could have imagined five years ago that China would look at the cost structure in South Carolina and say it’s more profitable to locate in South Carolina than in China,” says Auggie Tantillo, a South Carolina native who heads the National Council of Textile Organizations.
[This has been cross-posted from WSJ’s Real Time Economics blog]
For years, South Carolina’s business leaders were at loggerheads with China. Roger Milliken, the former chief executive of textile giant Milliken & Co., bankrolled unsuccessful efforts to block China’s entry into the World Trade Organization because he believed Chinese competition would undermine U.S. firms. Former Sen. Jim DeMint, who won office as a free trader, says that many people in his home state believed they were losing their jobs because of low-cost Chinese competition.
But now Chinese investment in the state, although now at modest levels, is starting to build. Chinese investors are buying golf courses near Myrtle Beach, and setting up yarn, plastic and chemical companies elsewhere. In one of the biggest investments, Chinese-owned Volvo Car Corp. last year said it would invest $500 million to build a new vehicle plant near Charleston.
So far, Chinese firms have invested about $300 million in South Carolina and employ about 1,000, according to Rhodium Group, a New York research group. That’s a small fraction of the approximately 130,000 South Carolina workers who now work for foreign-owned firms in the state, mainly from Germany, France and elsewhere in Europe. South Carolina’s success in snagging foreign investment is the subject of a Wall Street Journal front-page story.
The state has focused on Chinese investment since at least 2001, said John Ling, who until recently headed the state’s Chinese investment efforts. “The breaking point,” Mr. Ling said, was in 2009 when China spent heavily to stimulate its economy and pull itself out of the global recession. Part of Beijing’s strategy was to encourage Chinese companies to invest overseas as a way to build their global presence to find markets for excess supply. The strategy also could boost Chinese exports. That’s because foreign firms generally look to home companies for supplies. Read the rest of this entry »
WASHINGTON—Speaking to reporters as he ran a tattered extension cord along the House of Representatives rostrum this afternoon, Vice President Joe Biden confirmed that he had arrived early in order to set up a fog machine for tonight’s State of the Union address.
“This baby kicks out the fog like you wouldn’t believe, but you gotta give her plenty of time to warm up if you want the whole room to fill up real thick.”
said Biden while carefully mixing water and glycerin according to his own homemade “fog juice” recipe, which he explained he’d been using since his brief stint as a roadie on White Lion’s Pride tour in 1987.
“I wanted to do this thing up right with a whole laser rig and shit, but that would’ve set me back mucho dinero. But don’t you worry; Uncle Joe knows a few tricks with strobes that’ll get the crowd going.”
At press time, Biden was reportedly double-checking the timers on a set of flash pots in order to avoid another congressional aide losing their fingers in a pyrotechnic mishap. Read the rest of this entry »