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The US ambassador to Lisbon, George Glass, said on Friday that the USA is “concerned” about Chinese investment in Portugal and criticised the state company model that obeys the orders of the political powers in Beijing.
Lusa asked whether the USA was worried about Chinses investment in Portugal, one of the access points to Europe of the belt and road initiative (a Chinese infrastructure project across the world where they have invested around a trillion dollars), George Glass said “I wouldn’t use the word worried, I’d use the word concerned”.
The question is the kind of Chinese investment that is “very different” from the other countries since these are “state-owned entities”, with a direct connection to the political powers in Beijing, Mr Glass said, stressing that in this model the economic interests are subordinate to the state interests.
“This is not a commercial partnership, it is a political partnership”, because “these are not commercial or private owned entities these are state-owned entities”, he explained.
That is why, “we are concerned”, he said, giving the example of EDP, where the Chinese China Three Gorges (CTG) wants to but the majority of the capital.
CTG and another Chinese company CNIC Corporation control almost 30% of EDP’s capital, but the ambassador said the US authorities are paying attention in case the majority does pass into Chinese hands.
“EDP has a $10 billion investment in the United States” in the renewable energies sector and so “we are watching, we are concerned”.
“A state entity buying a minority share of a company is one thing, that’s an investment”. Now, “buying an entire company and a critical infrastructure company, that’s different, it’s political”, George Glass underlined.
Speaking in an interview with Lusa, the ambassador also said Donald Trump was right to complain in the so-called trade war with the EU and contested discrepancies in the customs duties.
These are large discussions that have to be had and we have to go back to trade agreements with the EU, he said, adding that the USA was committed to “free, fair and reciprocal trade”.
However, if there is not the same treatment of the products then this trade is “not reciprocal and is not fair”, he said, giving the example of Germany.
“We pay more taxes to send cars to Germany than on imports. I am not saying we are going to sell more cars in Germany, but this is not free and fair trade, he added.Source: Lusa
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