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Monday, March 14, 2016

Made in America Textiles Not Always American

Today I read something that I thought was rather odd (alarming).  Not only are Chinese factories moving to America, we are assisting them with the cost involved.  Call me old fashioned, but why did the United States government decide it was a good idea to provide money for foreign companies to stake a claim in our backyard?   Can a North Carolina company purchase a textile mill in China and have full ownership?

Below is the press release from Governor Pat McCrory which indicates that a performance based grant for $800,000. is helping make a Chinese owned joint venture possible in North Carolina.  Are grants arranged by the North Carolina commerce department “government funded”?  In other words, are USA tax payers providing an $800,000. grant to textile companies based in China?

It is understood that the concept is to bring employment to the state (which is fabulous), but wouldn’t it be better to give such grants to American textile mills or USA owned clothing manufacturers that bring employment to the state?

In the press article below from the Governor’s website, Uniquetex LLC is in a joint venture between Foshan Nanhai Beautiful Nonwoven Co., Ltd., one of China’s largest nonwoven textile businesses and Wenzhou Chaolong Textile Machinery Co., Ltd., a Zhejiang, China-based developer of equipment and technologies for nonwoven textile manufacturing.  In the press release it mentions the company name of Uniquetex which I think is the same as Dezhou Uniquetex Co. Ltd.; but I am not sure because they did not provide the contact information for the Chinese companies in the press release.

I am curious if it is common for Governors in the United States of America to help provide money to Chinese owned companies.  Is it good or bad for the North Carolina textile industry that the state is helping provide performance based grants to Chinese companies

March 10, 2016 — Governor Pat McCrory, North Carolina Commerce Secretary John E. Skvarla, III and the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina (EDPNC) announced on March 10, 2016 the arrival of Uniquetex LLC to Cleveland County. The company intends to build a 150-person workforce in the town of Grover over the coming five years.  Uniquetex is investing $31.6 million in a production facility there, its first in the United States.

“Textile manufacturing is one of North Carolina’s greatest traditional industries, and it is still growing,” said Governor McCrory. “Our state is the ideal destination for globally-positioned, innovation-driven textile companies like Uniquetex.”

Uniquetex LLC manufactures nonwoven fabrics for use by medical and healthcare providers, as well as other industries. The company is a joint venture between Foshan Nanhai Beautiful Nonwoven Co., Ltd., one of China’s largest nonwoven textile businesses and Wenzhou Chaolong Textile Machinery Co., Ltd., a Zhejiang, China-based developer of equipment and technologies for nonwoven textile manufacturing.

“Uniquetex’s selection of Cleveland County highlights all the reasons North Carolina leads the Southeast in manufacturing employment,” said Secretary Skvarla. “I am confident that our state’s productive workforce, competitive costs and ready access to global markets will strongly support the company’s ambitious growth strategy.”

Uniquetex intends to hire 150 workers at its Cleveland County operations. Positions will include machine operators, technicians, customer service representatives and others. Salaries will vary by position but will average $36,313 per year. Cleveland County’s overall average wage is currently $35,885 per year.

“We are extremely excited to start up our first U.S. operations in Cleveland County, N.C. The combination of a skilled workforce, access for quality transportation infrastructure and the pro-business attitude of the community is what attracted us here,” said Benny Deng, company CEO/President.

The project was made possible in part by a performance-based grant of up to $800,000 from the One North Carolina Fund. The One NC Fund provides financial assistance, through local governments, to attract business projects that will stimulate economic activity and create new jobs in the state.  Companies receive no money up front and must meet job creation and investment performance standards to qualify for grant funds. One NC grants also require and are contingent on financial matches from local governments.

Since Governor McCrory took office in January of 2013, North Carolina has witnessed the net creation of more than 260,000 private-sector jobs.

“Congratulations to this promising international company on its choice of Cleveland County for this important investment,” said N.C. Speaker of the House Tim Moore. “I look forward to working with Governor McCrory and Secretary Skvarla to ensure our state has the tools to make our manufacturing economy even stronger.”

“Cleveland County is a welcoming environment for great companies from all over the world,” said N.C. Senator Warren Daniel. “We look forward to Uniquetex joining our business community.”

Numerous state and local allies worked with EDPNC and N.C. Commerce in supporting Uniquetex’s location plans. They include the North Carolina General Assembly, the North Carolina Community College System, Cleveland County, the Cleveland County Economic Development Partnership, and Gardner Webb University.

Source: Governor of North Carolina Press Office / Posted March 10, 2016 at http://governor.nc.gov/press-release/uniquetex-bring-150-jobs-cleveland-county

The mission of the N.C. Office of Science, Technology & Innovation is to improve the economic well‐being and quality of life of all North Carolinians through advancing science, technology, and innovation.

In all honesty, I do not know much about how grants work.  However, at first glance, I am a bit concerned that the government (and  non-profits that work hand in hand with the government) of North Carolina is not working harder to support companies that are owned by companies based in the “United States”.   I understand that this “potentially” brings more employment to the state, but does it help the USA to provide grants to foreign owned businesses?  Yes, I understand the concept that factories bring employment.  However, don’t factory owners determine who they will hire.  Is it at all possible that Chinese owned factories in the United States will hire employees that enter with work Visa’s from China?  The United States welcomes thousands of foreign workers in multiple occupations or employment categories every year.

After the Chinese own the textile mills, will they later own the clothing factories here as well?  Will the owners of these foreign companies, control the hiring here in the USA?

Possibly I am misunderstanding the press release?  Maybe giving an $800,000. grant to a company in China is not such a bad idea?  If you know where the $800,000. comes from please let us know.  Is this money from tax payer funds?

Is it OK for China to buy the United States?  Are we for sale?

Please note, I do not have anything against China.  I am actually jealous that they are being more clever than our countries elected officials.  China is taking proper steps to improve their situation.  My concern is that we may be doing the opposite here.

You may also want to read about how Global Brands and Alibaba Strengthen China.

Thank you for taking the time to read our textile industry blog post. We hope that you have found this news to be informative. If you have comments or questions, please add your thoughts in the discussion area below.

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