Virginia is for China

VA Governor Terry McAuliffe at the groundbreaking of the Chinese-owned Tranlin in Chesterfield, Virginia.
Chinese investments in Virginia are three times more than any other country

The average American uses 45 pounds of paper towels a year, and none of them can be composted or recycled.

But a company in Virginia intends to make paper products from post-harvest wheat straw instead of trees. Paper towels will be made without pulping chemicals, and delivered to the consumer free of dyes, fragrances and coatings. They claim to even be certified compostable.

The product is called Vastly, and the parent company, Tranlin Paper Company, expects to employ about 2000 people by 2020 at its Chesterfield, Virginia plant.

Tranlin itself is a subsidiary of an even bigger company, Shandong Tranlin, in the Shandong Province of China.

While more than 550 internationally-owned businesses call Virginia home, Chinese investments in Virginia companies are three times more than any other country.

The largest and best known Chinese company in Virginia is Smithfield Foods, purchased in 2013 for $4.72 billion. But there are twelve Chinese-run companies in Virginia, and several partnerships are looking to increase that number. Chinese-owned companies aren’t the only way Virginia is tied to the Chinese economy, however.

In 2016, 47 percent of all Virginia exports, some $1.4 billion in goods, went to China, and Chinese products represent 27 percent of all good imported to Virginia, more than three times any other country.

In the following video, Deborah Hewitt, Clinical Professor of Economics and Finance at the Raymond A. Mason School of Business at the College of William and Mary, provides an astounding look at the level of influence China has on the entire US economy, and the importance of understanding the need for a “China strategy.”

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