OP-ED: Beware Chinese ‘Greenfield’ Investments in U.S. | NTK Network OP-ED: Beware Chinese ‘Greenfield’ Investments in U.S.

OP-ED: Beware Chinese ‘Greenfield’ Investments in U.S.

Former U.S. Sen. Jim Talent penned an op-ed that warns about the ways the Chinese government is trying to gain a foothold in the U.S. economy.

By NTK Staff | 06.27.2018 @4:00pm
OP-ED: Beware Chinese ‘Greenfield’ Investments in U.S.

Former Sen. Jim Talent (R-MO) penned a new op-ed for National Review Online which warns about “greenfield” investments made by Chinese companies on U.S. soil.

Talent describe greenfield assets as investments in new U.S. facilities.

Since greenfield investments hold the promise of creating American jobs, state governments usually welcome them and often provide tax breaks and other incentives to get them.

But Talent warns that these investments should be considered with caution. He notes that for companies like Toyota, BMW, and BP, greenfield assets are not an issue. But when a company is state-owned, like many Chinese companies are, these investments pose a serious threat to U.S. national security.

While the [state-owned enterprises, or] SOEs are fine with making money when possible, they are really about capturing markets and controlling technology in areas that will advance China in its national competition with other countries, and in particular with the United States.

The SOEs are heavily supported by the Chinese state in every conceivable way. Their domestic markets are protected. They are controlled by the regime, financed by Chinese state banks (themselves SOEs), directly subsidized by the government, and the beneficiary of technology which the Chinese state steals or extorts from American firms and other foreign companies.

In short, the SOEs are at the center of China’s national economic strategy, which it implements through what the U.S-China Economic and Security Review Commission has called China’s “Technonationalism Toolbox” of various illicit and/or illegal trade, regulatory, and financial practices.

Talent gives the example of the Australian railcar industry as a cautionary tale for America. In less than 10 years, nearly all Australian-manufactured railcar companies have gone out of business while a Chinese state enterprise controls the industry.

That can’t happen here, Talent argues, and stresses that Congress must focus on this important issue soon.

“Congress and the Trump administration are going to have to deal with it,” Talent writes. “When a Chinese SOE builds a greenfield asset in the United States, there are usually other objects besides profit in view — objects that do not bode well for American workers or American national security.”

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