China Jumps Into U.S. Market - Some Say Onto U.S. Market

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China Jumps Into U.S. Market - Some Say Onto U.S. Market

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Most Americans give little thought to China. Those who follow international issues are likely aware of Chinese-Taiwanese tensions, along with China's increasing military and naval power to that end. Or if one has a job in the textile industry, he might be aware of the threat to his employment that Chinese competition poses.

In light of a general lack of interest in China, two current bids to purchase American oil and manufacturing companies likely come as quite a shock! The idea of the Maytag Man being owned by a Chinese corporation seems totally out of place in Americana! But Maytag is one of the U.S. corporations China is attempting to buy ("China s Haier Launches Bold Bid for U.S. Appliance Maker Maytag ").

What about a Chinese takeover of a major U.S. oil corporation? China comes to El- Segundo California. That's the corporate headquarters of Unocal. Neither deal is complete as yet, but both are serious bids. China wants the Asian oil reserves owned and controlled by Unocal. The oil deal in particular awakened the protectionist lawmakers in Congress, despite Chinese assurances that the Unocal purchase would have no effect on the price of gas in the U.S. There is a strong inclination to block the deal through legislation. Part of the problem is that many Chinese companies are owned wholly or partially by the government, which doesn't allow the transparency that companies in Western economies have. So Beijing wants the benefits of being in the world market, without playing by the same rules.

Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan warned Congress on June 23 against taking the protectionist route, urging instead that the U.S. needs to think in terms of retraining unemployed workers. The government can help better by providing unemployment benefits during their retraining than by manipulating the globalized economy by legislation. The latter could produce an even costlier backlash, Greenspan warned, by triggering countermeasures in Beijing ("Greenspan: Don't Punish China").

Treasury Secretary John Snow added his caution to Greenspan's, noting that protectionism now would threaten sensitive negotiations that are underway to get the Chinese government to allow its currency to float. It looks as though the Chinese are going to do that, which would hopefully make U.S. goods more competitive on the world market. America isn't the only country trying to regain its balance in trading with China.

Many Asian economies readily opened their markets to Chinese products anticipating a mammoth market in China for their goods in return. But China has been meeting more and more of its manufacturing needs on its own, leaving the scales of international trade tipped decidedly in its favor ("China's Bold Bid for Global Energy"). See this in depth analysis of the emerging Chinese economy from the January "World News and Prophecy," "The Lotus Flower Blooms Again."