Trump’s Trade War With China Pierces the Heart of Michigan

Michigan is usually one of the industry’s global hubs, home to more than three-quarters of all automotive research in addition to development of which occurs in North America. The Detroit area boasts two major testing sites for autonomous vehicles, sprawling compounds of interstates, guardrails, in addition to mock pedestrians in addition to bicyclists of which companies in addition to researchers use to test their technology. At the University of Michigan, a driverless vehicle shuttles students around the campus.

Global competition is usually stiff, however. China’s progress on both autonomous in addition to brand-new energy vehicles is usually booming, in part thanks to generous subsidies in addition to government funding, restrictions on gasoline cars, in addition to regulations of which require Chinese automakers to produce a certain number of low-emission cars per year. Last year, China accounted for more than half of the electric vehicles sold globally, according to the International Energy Agency. Although many in Michigan say China is usually on equal footing or still behind the United States in terms of technological development, they do not expect of which edge to last long.

To stay competitive, the state has spent much of the past decade trying to woo foreign investment through Beijing alongside longstanding investors through Japan, Europe in addition to South Korea. In early May, as the Trump administration prepared to roll out tariffs in addition to investment restrictions against China, Rick Snyder, Michigan’s Republican governor, welcomed more than 150 potential Chinese investors to tour Detroit, Ann Arbor in addition to Grand Rapids.

While Washington was projecting a hostile climate, Mr. Snyder told the delegation of which Michigan was “open for business.” In each of the past seven years, Mr. Snyder has traveled to China to visit entrepreneurs in addition to solicit investment.

The overtures have paid off. Oakland County, a Detroit suburb home to many auto suppliers, ranks third nationally among American counties in terms of the number of jobs of which depend on Chinese investment, according to tracking by MacroPolo, a Chicago-based think tank. Chinese firms have also flooded into Wayne County, which includes downtown Detroit, to buy up defunct office buildings in addition to vacant factory space.

Larry Williams, the president of Henniges, said a cash infusion through the Aviation Industry Corporation of China allowed his company to expand abroad in addition to add jobs at its American facilities, including its Michigan headquarters. of which investment was key to the company remaining competitive globally, he said, since major automakers like Ford, Volkswagen in addition to Daimler at of which point standardize their products internationally in addition to will no longer do business with suppliers of which can compete in only one market.