Chesterton Tribune

Visclosky testifies on stated owned Chinese investments in US concerns

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On Monday, U.S. Rep. Pete Visclosky, D-1st, testified before the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission during its hearing on China’s state-owned and state-controlled enterprises.

Excerpts from Visclosky’s testimony:

“I am concerned that China’s state-owned enterprises will only continue to gain influence in our country and around the world in the future, and it is my hope that through hearings and discussions such as the one that you are holding today, we can begin to develop the appropriate policies that ensure American workers and American companies can fairly compete in a world with Chinese state-owned enterprises. . . .

“We can see why the United States is so interested in this type of investment from an article in the Wall Street Journal . . . entitled, “In the Heart of the Rust Belt, Chinese Funds Provide the Grease.”  This article stated that Nexteer Automotive in Saginaw, Mich., was on the verge of closing and letting go of 3,000 jobs. But then a Chinese state-owned enterprise, Pacific Century Motors, which is controlled by the Aviation Industry Corporation of China and Beijing E-town International Investment Corporation, bought the auto-parts maker for $450 million. These 3,000 workers, instead of looking for their next employment opportunity, are now installing new equipment, thanks to the investment of a Chinese state-owned enterprise.

“So while this appears to be a positive investment initially, I remain very cautious. My concern is that there is no means for oversight or recourse for American workers if ulterior motives are involved and if the original investment dollars were generated through state subsidies that rendered other Americans unemployed.

“The above mentioned case is an apparent win for the American worker, but what if the motive for the investment of a Chinese state-owned enterprise is to gain technology developed in the United States for export to China? What if the motive for the investment of a Chinese state-owned enterprise is to operate an American facility so that they can avoid paying American tariffs? Should we reward the use of investment dollars secured through practices that violate international trading standards and that have had an abusive effect on existing businesses in our country? I do not believe these fears are speculative in nature. I do not assume that Chinese state-owned enterprises operate based solely on market forces. We should have a way to transparently and fairly assess their investments.

“Currently, the only mechanism that America has to examine investments from Chinese state-owned enterprises is through the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) . . . .

“Members of the Commission, we must ensure that American workers are able to compete on a level playing field. China has consistently demonstrated that they are not adhering to fair trading rules, that they are providing illegal subsidies to their industries, and that they are dumping their products on our shores. They have repeatedly shown their neglect in enforcing environmental and labor standards. They have blatantly ignored patent and copyright protections.

“Again, I do not believe that we should reward state-owned enterprises that have demonstrated such actions, and I assure you that I am committed to working to develop a way to transparently and fairly assess their investments. The American worker deserves no less.”




Posted 2/16/2012