December 3, 2012

China overtaking US as global trader

Joe McDonald and Youkyung Lee / The Associated Press

(Continued from page 4)

click image to enlarge

Stacey Rassas, right, a quality control manager at a Suntech Power Holdings Co., a Chinese-owned solar panel manufacturer, examines a solar panel with her co-worker Frank Garcia at a company facility in Goodyear, Ariz., recently. The factory makes solar panels for one of the world's biggest solar manufacturers.

AP

The deal has since been scaled back to $6 billion under pressure from the International Monetary Fund, which felt Congo was taking on too much debt.

China's outbound investment totaled $67.6 billion last year — just one-sixth of America's nearly $400 billion — but it could reach $2 trillion by 2020, according to a forecast by Rhodium Group, a research firm in New York City.

As a result, Chinese companies are using a new export — jobs.

Employees at Volvo Cars worried after Chinese automaker Geely Holdings bought the money-losing Swedish brand from Ford Motor Co. in 2010. But two years later, instead of moving jobs to China, Geely has expanded Volvo's European workforce of 19,500 to about 21,500.

Majority-owned U.S. affiliates of Chinese companies support about 27,000 American jobs, up from fewer than 10,000 five years ago, according to Rhodium.

In Goodyear, Arizona, Stacey Rassas was laid off in May 2010 after a 16-year career in quality control for aerospace and aluminum manufacturers. By late autumn, she and her husband were worried they might lose their house.

She finally landed a job that December at a new factory that makes solar panels for one of the world's biggest solar manufacturers.

"It was the best day ever," she said.

Her new employer? Suntech Power Holdings Co., a Chinese company.

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