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Chinese investments in the United States

The American Enterprise Institute and The Heritage Foundation’s China Global Investment Tracker follows large Chinese investments, excluding bonds, around the world. The leading recipient of these kinds of investments is the United States, which received almost $78 billion between January 2005 and December 2014.

The deals described in the tracker are worth $100 million or more and are voluntary transactions. They let ordinary people make their own economic choices. Chinese purchases benefit Americans who hold desirable assets, including individual family homes, not just office towers or giant corporations. Chinese investment helps support a small number of American jobs.

China is not an enemy, but it is not a friend. Government involvement in Chinese investment in the US should be limited but some guidelines are necessary. Chinese firms and individuals should not be allowed to buy advanced technology that could have military uses. American policymakers should be aware that most Chinese firms have little familiarity with a competitive market under the rule of law, so their ability and willingness to obey American law should be monitored. If these guidelines are kept in place, Chinese investment in the US can continue to be a net positive for both countries.

Click here for the dataset of Chinese investment in the United States.

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To revitalize America’s infrastructure system, the US should consider new creative methods, such as lowering barriers to entry into the infrastructure market; opening the market will entice cost-effective and experienced innovators, from home or abroad.

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The United States saw the third straight year of increased Chinese investment, with real estate and technology receiving the largest quantity of Chinese money.

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In 2014, the US received $17 billion in Chinese investments, setting a third-straight annual record for Chinese spending in the United States.

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In 2014, the United States was the largest recipient of Chinese investment for the third year in a row. A sound US-China bilateral investment treaty would support continued Chinese spending and help gradually improve Chinese corporate behavior.

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Looking forward to 2015, the most compelling story which matters to China will be the conclusion of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). TPP is potentially the biggest global economic event of 2015, and its implications for China are as extensive as for any country not party to current negotiations.

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The United States is a long-time investor in China and for years this has been a one-way street. Now things are changing as China starts to shift gears by investing heavily in the US.

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Accusations come almost daily. China is waging a mercantilist campaign against multinationals, from German auto titans to American technology firms to Japanese ball-bearing makers, for supposed monopoly abuses and other legal infractions. There is more going on, however, than the attack on foreign companies. 

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Washington and Beijing are ostensibly having serious discussions of a bilateral investment treaty to improve transparency and other aspects of the trans-Pacific investment environment. However, it’s impossible at present to see such an agreement benefiting the US.

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The AEI-Heritage Foundation China Global Investment Tracker follows Chinese investment all over the world. Through June 30 2014,  the U.S. had received over $70 billion in Chinese investment. This is the most of any country, and much more could be on the way, likely breaching $100 billion in total by 2017 and continuing to rise (unsteadily) from there. 

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