WV scores $84B of proposed $250B US-China investment deal
- A memorandum of understanding between the U.S. and China could see as much as $83.7 billion of investment in West Virginia's shale gas and chemical manufacturing industries as part of $250 billion of deals between the two countries, according to Bloomberg.
- If finalized, the 20-year investment — which is more than the state's gross domestic product in 2016 — would give China another source of relatively cleaner energy alternatives and reduce its reliance on any one country for its energy supply, according to CNN Money.
- China Petroleum & Chemical Corp. (Sinopec) would also invest $43 billion in the Alaskan liquefied natural gas industry, generating an estimated 12,000 jobs.
China has long been a key investor in U.S. industry, particularly in real estate development and construction deals.
Anbang Insurance Group, which owns New York City's iconic Waldorf Astoria hotel, is gearing up to start a $2 billion program of upgrades and renovations on the hotel. AECOM Tishman is slated to begin work on the project this month after months of muddling through delays in the approvals process. Political strife reportedly contributed further to project delays, with Anbang struggling to transfer the cash necessary for the project out of China and into the U.S.
Individual Chinese investment is also robust. The EB-5 visa program, administered by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, allows for expedited green card applications in return for $500,000 to $1 million of private investment from foreign nationals.
Earlier this year, Rogelio Carrasquillo, with Cozen O'Connor in New York City, told Construction Dive that Chinese investors made up approximately 90% of that program. The arrangement has seen some incidents of fraud in the past few years, and, after months of extensions, is set to expire in December.
Real estate developers like Related Companies, which have benefited from EB-5 investments, are lobbying for the program's continuation. According to The Real Deal, there is a decade-long backlog of EB-5 applications. That translates to a nearly $17 billion pool of money ready to be invested in U.S. projects.
Still, other foreign entities are making inroads in U.S. investment. Taiwanese tech giant Foxconn Technology Group on Friday signed a deal with Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, solidifying an agreement that would see $3 billion in tax incentives for Foxconn in return for its $10 billion investment in a flat-panel display factory there.
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