China’s State Administration for Foreign Exchange is buying $1.5 billion worth of pension assets from General Motors. The assets are positions in funds held by the Carlyle Group, Blackstone, and CVC Capital. This is the latest in a surge of Chinese investment in the U.S., investment that benefits all the parties involved.
Even with this deal, Chinese non-bond investment in the U.S., according to The Heritage Foundation’s China Global Investment Tracker, is less than $45 billion since 2005 (excluding the PRC’s purchases of our Treasury bonds). Our GDP in a single year is about $15 trillion, so deals like this one with GM are a drop in the bucket.
But even a drop matters to someone who’s thirsty. GM can use all the help it can get—even better if it doesn’t come from American taxpayers. Similarly, AMC Entertainment needed help, and China’s Dalian Wanda provided it with a $2.6 billion acquisition.
On the Chinese side, the year kicked off with a $2.44 billion investment by state giant Sinopec in some of Devon Energy’s gas projects, one of several large Chinese investments in gas. China needs energy, and the U.S. has both the resources and the technology to deliver it.
There are a lot of problems in the U.S.–China economic relationship, most of them originating in Beijing. Chinese state subsidies and intellectual property violations are ugly, and the U.S. is now adding misleading and unproductive language during election season.
The investments this year, though, are a good reminder that America and China have a huge economic relationship for a good reason: There are lots of deals that lots of people want to make.