The West Scrutinizes Chinese Investment

Defending Western industry: European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker scrutinizes trade deals; in 2016, China’s Midea acquired Kuka, Germany’s top robotics company

Protectionist stances on immigration and trade have overshadowed proposals for stricter reviews of inbound foreign investment: The United States plans reform for the Committee on Foreign Investment of the United States, which reviews projects for national security concerns, and the European Union prepares a pan-European screening mechanism. In 2017, Chinese investment in Europe totaled €35 billion, or $40.75 billion, and the US total was $29.4 billion, down from $46.2 billion in 2016. “Between the Trump administration’s ‘America first’ stance, labeling China a ‘strategic competitor’…, and a mainstream Europe actively looking to improve the EU’s toolbox for screening foreign investments, China is carrying on its old practice of ‘divide and rule’ among states while also trying to play Europeans against Americans, thanks to the current ‘trade war,’” writes Philippe Le Corre, a senior fellow with the Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government at the Harvard Kennedy School and a nonresident senior fellow with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. The United States and Europe, by cooperating, would enjoy a stronger negotiating position. – YaleGlobal