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Companies bullish on business in US

By PAUL WELITZKIN in New York | China Daily | Updated: 2017-06-10 09:33

Many Chinese companies operating in the United States expect to increase profit and revenue, according to a survey released in New York on Thursday.

They also expect to either maintain or expand their American workforces and do not believe that the US government is biased in its policies, despite some political tensions.

The China General Chamber of Commerce polled its membership of Chinese enterprises operating in the US. More than 200 companies responded out of more than 500 that were queried.

A large majority, or 86 percent of the surveyed Chinese companies, expect their revenue in the US to grow in the next three to five years. About 71 percent will maintain staffing levels, while 28 percent expect an increase.

About 87 percent of the Chinese companies said they have either maintained or increased their profit margins in the US in 2016.

Xu Chen, chairman of CGCC and president and CEO of Bank of China USA, stressed that the business foundation for Chinese firms in the US was sound.

This has helped to defuse some of the political tensions that occasionally occur in the China-US relationship.

"There has been some misunderstanding and mistrust between the governments," said Xu. "China and the US-as the world's two largest markets-need each other.

"The US needs Chinese investment and China's market for American exports to create more US jobs," Xu added. "China also needs American exports, technology and investment."

One of the Chinese companies that attended the release of the survey was China Construction America Inc.

Established in 1985 and based in Jersey City, New Jersey, CCA is the North American subsidiary of China State Construction Engineering Corp Ltd and employs more than 1,000 in the US. Approximately 98 percent of its workforce is American.

Noting that US President Donald Trump wants to implement a massive infrastructure program, Xin "Trish" Qu said CCA is eager to participate.

"The administration's plan to increase infrastructure is certainly good news for us," she said.

In 2014, CCA purchased Plaza Construction to increase its presence in the American construction market.

Qu said the US infrastructure market is valued at about $1 trillion annually. "Our revenue (in the US) is about $2 billion, so there is certainly space for us to grow in the US in the future."

In this year's survey, 65 percent of the companies do not believe the US government implements its policies or rules in a biased way.

However, entities such as the Committee on Foreign Investment in the US (CFIUS) remain a concern, as 25 percent of the Chinese firms consider a CFIUS review to be "politicized and opaque".

CFIUS is an interagency group that assesses the national security implications of foreign purchases of US businesses.

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