China Hangs Up a Help Wanted Sign in the U.S.

U.S. corporate investment in China – and the jobs it supports – is a well-publicized fact.  Indeed, just today, China agreed to another $45 billion in export deals, including $19 billion from Boeing alone, as part of President Hu Jintao’s visit to the U.S. 

For years, most economic and political observers saw the investment flow between the U.S. and China as a one-way street.  That may be changing – with important implications for the U.S. economy. 

Since 2009, according to a Washington Post report Chinese investment in the U.S. has jumped by nearly 150 percent to about $12 billion. In a survey conducted by the China Services Group of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, the U.S. ranked second behind only Hong Kong as a likely destination for Chinese capital investment.  As a result of Chinese investment in the U.S., estimates are that more than 10,000 American jobs have been created.

If the recent action with Chinese IPOs on U.S. exchanges is any guide, there may be more jobs in the pipeline. 

In 2010, the NYSE attracted a record 22 IPOs from China, including Ming Yang Wind Power Group, which raised $350 million.  Among the 22 companies going public through the NYSE was Youku, which became the best performing IPO in the U.S. since 2005.

Of course, China is still anxious for investment by major U.S. companies, as the Boeing deal makes clear.  But increasingly, Chinese firms also see the U.S. and its free enterprise system as a potentially profitable outlet for surging Chinese corporate profits.