You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.

X

Welcome to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

China becoming a powerhouse U.S. investor

Hiring for Moraine plant will start later this yearChinese companies invested a record $14 billion in the United States in 2013.


After decades of siphoning jobs from the United States, China is creating some. And at least one of those investments is paying off for the Dayton area in a major way.

Last month, Chinese auto glass manufacturer Fuyao bought 1.2 million square feet of a former General Motors plant in Moraine for $15 million, with plans to transform the plant into one of the country’s biggest sites for the finishing of automotive glass, with an expected eventual 800 workers.

Fuyao will take raw glass and heat, shape and fit the glass in Moraine for use in automobiles.

In all, Fuyao is expected to invest some $250 million into the plant, perhaps making it company’s biggest plant, Fuyao Chairman Cao Dewang said in May.

But it’s not just Moraine. Chinese investment in the United States overall is growing. According to New York consultant Rhodium Group, which watches Chinese investments, 2013 was a “milestone” year for employment by Chinese firms in this country.

Chinese-owned companies provided more than 70,000 full-time jobs in the United States by the end of 2013, a more than eight-fold increase compared to 2007 (around 9,000 jobs), Rhodium said.

$14B investment

In 2013, the average size of Chinese-driven projects rose, raising total deal value to a record $14 billion, double the amount of the year before, according to Rhodium.

In South Carolina, Chinese textile manufacturer Keer Group is investing $218 million in a plant to make industrial yarn, the Associated Press reported. That company is expected to employ 500 people.

In Texas, Tianjin Pipe is investing more than $1 billion in a factory that makes pipes for the oil and gas industry. That company is expected to have 400 to 500 employees by the end of 2017.

And Rhodium analyst Thilo Hanemann noted that Shandong Tranlin Paper Co Ltd recently said it will invest $2 billion in a paper and fertilizer plant in Virginia, a project expected to be China’s largest greenfield project in the U.S.

“We have a strong pipeline of deals and new investments are announced on an almost daily basis,” Hanemann said in an interview.

Chinese investment in America has set records two years in row, said Derek Scissors, resident scholar for the American Enterprise Institute. He expects another record this year.

‘It’s good for the Dayton area’

“This is good for the United States, it’s good for the Dayton area, it’s good for Ohio, it’s good for the whole country for these transactions to take place,” Scissors said. “They’re all voluntary. That’s the way we do things here. Money is coming to the country, saving jobs or creating jobs.”

Bill Wilson, international economist for the Heritage Foundation and former chief economic with Ernst & Young, expects Chinese-driven investments in the U.S. to get “a lot bigger.”

“China is becoming increasingly integrated into the global economy,” Wilson said. “What they’re trying to do is move away from this export-driven model — which they have had for 30 years —and develop deeper investments and capital relationships with the global economy.”

The old Chinese economic model, the export-driven model, has “expired,” he said.

But it’s not just a process of global integration. China is going aboard to acquire strategic assets, such as energy and production assets and information technology expertise, Wilson said.

“They want to own their own energy supplies,” he said.

There are some parallels to Japan’s investments in the U.S., particularly the establishment of motorcycle- and auto-maker Honda in Ohio in the 1970s, he agreed. Honda in Ohio today has more than 13,000 employees.

But what China needs most is American know-how, he believes.

“What the Chinese really need, that the Japanese didn’t need as much, is really access to experience and really talented staff,” Wilson said. “The Chinese really lack that.”

Tapping American knowledge

State-operated enterprises in China can be risk-averse and lacking in “best practices,” said Wilson, who lived in China for three years. Tapping into American knowledge can help Chinese firms.

By comparison to China, the U.S. is becoming more competitive. Worker costs in China have gone up double digits for seven or eight years now, Wilson said.

“That’s another impetus (for China) to move off-shore,” he said.

The hunger for American workers is felt in Moraine. Mike Davis, Moraine development director, said this week that Fuyao is about two weeks away from establishing a human resources department for the Moraine plant.

Davis has been informally taking the names and contact information of people interested applying for jobs at the plant. But he stressed that he does not have any official human resources role with Fuyao.

“I can put you down in a database with your name and your email address and I can let Fuyao know that,” Davis said. “I will be providing them that spreadsheet of contacts so they know where they can start going.”

Moraine officials has also encouraged Fuyao to have a local jobs fair at some point. No fair has been scheduled yet.

Post resumes online

Kristi Tanner, a managing director for JobsOhio, the state’s private development arm, said people who feel they are candidates for management or engineering positions at Fuyao’s Moraine plant should place their resume on OhioMeansJobs.com.

“If their resume is posted on OhioMeansJobs, it will be reviewed for the Fuyao operation,” Tanner said. “They’ll be using that among other tools for recruiting of their workforce.”

OhioMeansJobs.com is a website gathering point for individuals searching for jobs and employers looking for qualified candidates.

Fuyao is looking for qualified management people now and should begin hiring later this year and into next year, Tanner said. Fuyao will need maintenance employees, forklift operators, “a multitude of different positions,” she said.

Production at the plant between Ohio 741 and Kettering Boulevard could begin this time next year if not sooner, officials say.

While Chinese investments are welcome, Scissors believes Americans should carefully consider each proposed deal.

“When it gets tricky is when you start asking, ‘Well, is China a good economic actor overall?’” Scissors said. “That’s a different story. A lot of people say, ‘No.’ And they have some reason.”

The U.S. needs to consider its own access to China’s market as well as attempts to steal U.S. corporate secrets through cyber espionage, Scissors said. Last month, the U.S. government indicted five Chinese military officials for cyber-spying.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in News

Clark County receives mixed results for air quality
Clark County receives mixed results for air quality

Clark County received mixed results on its air quality, according to a recent report from the American Lung Association. The county received an F grade for its ozone quality, but received an A grade for short-term particle pollution, according to the Association’s State of the Air 2017 report. RELATED: Springfield leader wants lifetime warranty...
Missing Alabama teen found safe in Texas 16 months later
Missing Alabama teen found safe in Texas 16 months later

An Alabama teen who vanished without a trace two years ago after taking out the trash has been found. Alissia Freeman, who was more than 1,000 miles away in El Paso, Texas, reached out to her mother, Vickie Metcalf, on a video call Monday after being out of contact with her family since she disappeared on Dec. 13, 2015. She was 17 at the time...
Demolition of Ohio bridge doesn’t go as planned
Demolition of Ohio bridge doesn’t go as planned

UPDATE 7:37: The implosion of the Jeremiah Morrow Bridge on I-71 in Warren County didn’t go as planned Sunday morning. An ODOT spokesperson said one of the explosive charges came loose, leaving one of four sections standing. Matt Bruning, ODOT spokesman, said crews will look to attach another charge, and try to demolish the remaining bridge...
Rape case lawyer says women are 'especially good' at lying
Rape case lawyer says women are 'especially good' at lying

A lawyer for a wealthy Tennessee businessman who was later found not guilty in a Memphis rape trial made a comment during closing arguments Thursday that raised some eyebrows. According to WHBQ, Steve Farese, attorney for Mark Giannini, said women are "especially good" at lying. "People can be very good at lying," Farese said...
Donald Trump reveals where he'll be instead of the White House Correspondents' Dinner
Donald Trump reveals where he'll be instead of the White House Correspondents' Dinner

Every year, the White House Correspondents’ Dinner is one of the social events of the spring. For almost 100 years, journalists, government officials and celebrities have gotten together to crack jokes and eat expensive meals. The event has been attended by Frank Sinatra and Duke Ellington. In 2011, then-President Barack Obama roasted Donald...
More Stories