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2005年NPR美国国家公共电台九月-U.S. States, Cities Courting Chinese Firm

时间:2007-07-18 06:19来源:互联网 提供网友:zhao6221133   字体: [ ]
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It's All Things Considered. I am Melissa Block. And I'm Robert Siegel.

Today the State of South Carolina opened a new trade office more than 7 thousand miles away from the statehouse. It's in Shanghai. Trade with China has been a sore subject in Southern States. Competition from Asian imports has devastated1 the region's textile and furniture industries. As NPR's Adam Hochberg reports, some states are now working with the Chinese to create new jobs in this country.

Over the past decades, South Carolina has lost more than 16,000 jobs to China. But at this factory in the small town of Camden, it's gotten some of them back. In this 5-year-old plant, about 200 South Carolinians make refrigerators. They work for a company called Haier, spelt H-A-I-E-R, a Chinese firm that used to be controlled by the Communist government but now has capitalist ambitions. Its products once unknown outside Asia now are sold in the American stores like Home Depot2. And the head of this plant David Parks wants to make Haier a household name in the U.S.

"American markets are the most mature and the most difficult and to be a global participant, you have to be here. That's why we are here. That's why we're investing in a factory. We wanna build products in America, by Americans for the American market. Even in this American plant with the American managers, you can see the influence of the Far East. On the walls are posters with soothing3 scenes and Chinese motivational sense. Some carry awkward English translations like "only products for practical uses can be favored by customers". Parks spent 15 years working for American appliance makers4 and calls Haier a different kind of company.

"The Americans tend to live quarter by quarter, and there's almost an attitude like if you don't make the quarter, don't worry about next year, coz’ you won't be here. Asians are much more long-term in their thinking. And if you take the long view of things, you're far better-off.”

Haier has left little doubt its long-view calls for aggressive growth. It failed in a recent bid to take over Maytag, but still plans to build at least four more American factories. Other Chinese manufacturers are opening U.S plants as well, making things like automotive components5 and electronics, all part of a strategy to transform China into a global economic leader. University of South Carolina business professor Chuck Kwok says China wants to be known for something more than low wages and cheap consumer goods. It wants to tap into America's strength in research and development.

"If you are not very strong in R&D, there’s no way you can dominate in the key industries, like high-tech6, like cars, like other. You don't just have that base. And that's why Chinese companies now are learning how to go outside to America."

So far, companies from mainland China have created only a couple thousand jobs in the U.S, far fewer than the number of American jobs lost to Asia. But professor Kwok predicts Chinese investments here will grow, and governors around the country are working hard to attract them.

"China is the giant elephant in the room as related to economic development."

South Carolina governor Mark Sanford has made two trade missions to China and personally cut the ribbon at State's Shanghai office. To Chinese executives, he talks up South Carolina's ready workforce7 and its low business costs. And he says locating Chinese factories in the state could pay political dividends8.

"For instance, in South Carolina there is a very strong sentiment against China trade. And if we stay with political dynamic as it exists now, trade sanctions will go up. And you need to go to the epicenter of where jobs are lost and replace some of those jobs if you have any hope of changing the current political dynamic."

South Carolina gave Haier more than a quarter million dollars in incentives9 and even named the street near the factory Haier Boulevard. But not all Chinese firms receive such a warm welcome. This summer, China's government-owned oil company dropped efforts to buy Unocal after some members of congress raised national security concerns. And other critics worry luring10 Chinese factories to the U.S might hurt America in the long run. Robert Scott is with the Economic Policy Institute, a union-backed think-tank.

"Mayors and governors around the country have an obvious desire to create jobs for their communities, but the problem is they are missing the forest for the trees, the problem is that what comes out in the end of those factories displaces U.S products, they employ many more workers so we lose jobs."

Back in South Carolina, workers at the Haier factory raise few concerns about having a Chinese employer. For the most part, they are just happy to work in this clean plant and earn a salary that's more than 10 dollars an hour. It's generous in this part of the state.

"My honest opinion it's the best job that I've had since I have been working, I have been working since I was about 18."

42-year-old Thomas Davis who used to work at a textile mill now operates a machine in Haier that makes refrigerator liners.

"I didn't think Chinese will actually come over here and develop a company. But I am glad to it did. I mean, my thing is, you know, I let China and U.S settle their differences. And I just come here to perform my duties and go home."

Davis says the only struggles of this plant came when it first opened that Haier sent managers from China to train the workers. That led the language and cultural problems so severe. Some employees quit in frustration11. Now with all American management, things are running more smoothly12 and morale13 is high. The company says it's received thousands of applications from South Carolinians who want to work here.

Adam Hochberg, NPR news.


点击收听单词发音收听单词发音  

1 devastated eb3801a3063ef8b9664b1b4d1f6aaada     
v.彻底破坏( devastate的过去式和过去分词);摧毁;毁灭;在感情上(精神上、财务上等)压垮adj.毁坏的;极为震惊的
参考例句:
  • The bomb devastated much of the old part of the city. 这颗炸弹炸毁了旧城的一大片地方。
  • His family is absolutely devastated. 他的一家感到极为震惊。
2 depot Rwax2     
n.仓库,储藏处;公共汽车站;火车站
参考例句:
  • The depot is only a few blocks from here.公共汽车站离这儿只有几个街区。
  • They leased the building as a depot.他们租用这栋大楼作仓库。
3 soothing soothing     
adj.慰藉的;使人宽心的;镇静的
参考例句:
  • Put on some nice soothing music.播放一些柔和舒缓的音乐。
  • His casual, relaxed manner was very soothing.他随意而放松的举动让人很快便平静下来。
4 makers 22a4efff03ac42c1785d09a48313d352     
n.制造者,制造商(maker的复数形式)
参考例句:
  • The makers of the product assured us that there had been no sacrifice of quality. 这一产品的制造商向我们保证说他们没有牺牲质量。
  • The makers are about to launch out a new product. 制造商们马上要生产一种新产品。 来自《简明英汉词典》
5 components 4725dcf446a342f1473a8228e42dfa48     
(机器、设备等的)构成要素,零件,成分; 成分( component的名词复数 ); [物理化学]组分; [数学]分量; (混合物的)组成部分
参考例句:
  • the components of a machine 机器部件
  • Our chemistry teacher often reduces a compound to its components in lab. 在实验室中化学老师常把化合物分解为各种成分。
6 high-tech high-tech     
adj.高科技的
参考例句:
  • The economy is in the upswing which makes high-tech services in more demand too.经济在蓬勃发展,这就使对高科技服务的需求量也在加大。
  • The quest of a cure for disease with high-tech has never ceased. 人们希望运用高科技治疗疾病的追求从未停止过。
7 workforce workforce     
n.劳动大军,劳动力
参考例句:
  • A large part of the workforce is employed in agriculture.劳动人口中一大部分受雇于农业。
  • A quarter of the local workforce is unemployed.本地劳动力中有四分之一失业。
8 dividends 8d58231a4112c505163466a7fcf9d097     
红利( dividend的名词复数 ); 股息; 被除数; (足球彩票的)彩金
参考例句:
  • Nothing pays richer dividends than magnanimity. 没有什么比宽宏大量更能得到厚报。
  • Their decision five years ago to computerise the company is now paying dividends. 五年前他们作出的使公司电脑化的决定现在正产生出效益。
9 incentives 884481806a10ef3017726acf079e8fa7     
激励某人做某事的事物( incentive的名词复数 ); 刺激; 诱因; 动机
参考例句:
  • tax incentives to encourage savings 鼓励储蓄的税收措施
  • Furthermore, subsidies provide incentives only for investments in equipment. 更有甚者,提供津贴仅是为鼓励增添设备的投资。 来自英汉非文学 - 环境法 - 环境法
10 luring f0c862dc1e88c711a4434c2d1ab2867a     
吸引,引诱(lure的现在分词形式)
参考例句:
  • Cheese is very good for luring a mouse into a trap. 奶酪是引诱老鼠上钩的极好的东西。
  • Her training warned her of peril and of the wrong, subtle, mysterious, luring. 她的教养警告她:有危险,要出错儿,这是微妙、神秘而又诱人的。
11 frustration 4hTxj     
n.挫折,失败,失效,落空
参考例句:
  • He had to fight back tears of frustration.他不得不强忍住失意的泪水。
  • He beat his hands on the steering wheel in frustration.他沮丧地用手打了几下方向盘。
12 smoothly iiUzLG     
adv.平滑地,顺利地,流利地,流畅地
参考例句:
  • The workmen are very cooperative,so the work goes on smoothly.工人们十分合作,所以工作进展顺利。
  • Just change one or two words and the sentence will read smoothly.这句话只要动一两个字就顺了。
13 morale z6Ez8     
n.道德准则,士气,斗志
参考例句:
  • The morale of the enemy troops is sinking lower every day.敌军的士气日益低落。
  • He tried to bolster up their morale.他尽力鼓舞他们的士气。
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TAG标签:   npr  公共电台  chinese  firm
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