The Manufacturing Advancement Center

About MAC
The Next Generation Manufacturer Newsletter
Upcoming Programs
Resource Library
Contact Us

Send a Letter
to the Editor

From the Desk of Jack Healy

US China Initiative Provides Opportunity to Build Business

By Jack Healy, Director, MassMEP

There is an axiom that no one recognizes an opportunity until they see their competitor doing it. Exports, with the decline of the dollar, have been the growth industry for the Massachusetts manufacturing community for the past six years. As good as this growth has been, Massachusetts has been seriously lagging when it comes to "exports to China.

Realize it or not, the economies of the US and China have become increasingly interlocked to the point where we now depend on each other. This is why we did not see retaliatory tariff increases after we raised our own tariffs on Chinese steel pipes and tires.

Conversely, when Timothy Geithner, Secretary of the Treasury, stated during his budget hearings that the President believed "China was manipulating its currency to gain an unfair trade advantage," we quickly learned that the administration backed away from any such statement. Indeed it has hardly been mentioned since.

While China’s economy is still less than a third of the US economy, China is our largest creditor and we are invariably linked to ensure that a zero sum future for either of our economies does not occur. With or without us, the large Chinese enterprises such as Haier, Geely, and Lenovo have both the scale and internal advantage to dominate their own domestic markoffs. Having done so, they will then start to expand their brands globally using the "China price strategy" in third world countries like Africa, South America, and Asia.  In addition, it is inevitable that both Japan and South Korea will also further integrate their own economies with China as well – similarly to what the Taiwanese have done.

Such global changes will be daunting to deal with, especially when so many of us know so little of China and how China functions. To address these complex changing global realities and to develop an understanding of a country of over 1.3 billion people (22 % of the world’s population), with multiple languages and dialects, Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has established the US-China Initiative.  The US-China Initiative will provide a window of opportunity for the entire business community as it will:

  • Establish WPI as an integrator and leading institution in New England area in providing various educational opportunities and programs proposed in the Initiative that will increase the experience, knowledge, skills, and capabilities of students, faculty, and local business community with respect to China
  • Provide education and training activities that contribute to the ability of US companies to prosper and succeed in a global economy; in particular, collaborate with MassMEP to design workshops / seminars on "doing business in China" that cater to the needs and interests of the local business community
  • Facilitate the local companies to expand and enhance their business competitiveness through the China Senior Project Center to improve their current practices, exploring new business expansion avenues in China, preparing new generation of workforce with expanded and new global skills
  • All publications related to the student senior projects such as teaching cases or case studies, research articles, China Project Center yearbook, will be made available to MassMEP network companies free of charge upon request
  • All on-campus courses and seminars proposed in the Initiative are open to MassMEP network members

Anyone who is interested in taking advantage of the opportunity offered by the U.S. –China Initiative can do so by joining the MassMEP network at no cost by contacting Kathie Mahoney at [email protected].

Read the latest McKinsey article, "Preparing for the Next Asia," where they discuss how the next two decades will bring dramatic changes to the region.

Have an Opinion?
Have an opinion to share? Send a Letter to the Editor.


Home | About MAC | Next Gen Manufacturer Newsletter
Upcoming Programs | Toolbox | Resource Library | Partners | Contact Us

© Copyright , Manufacturing Advancement Center
100 Grove Street, Worcester, MA 01605, USA, Privacy Policy
Developed by Telesian Technology