America Needs $8 Trillion Worth Of Infrastructure Over The Next Two Decades—And China Could Help

Lily Kuo | Quartz | October 24, 2013

America needs at least $8.2 trillion to keep energy, water and transportation infrastructure in a good state of repair between now and 2030, according to a new report by the US Chamber of Commerce. The best way to cover that gargantuan expense? Investment from China.

The idea of Chinese control over critical US infrastructure like power and water plants or airports is enough to get a number of US officials up in arms. Lawmakers have already said American companies should not to do business with Chinese firms Huawei and ZTE for fear of enabling Chinese government influence over domestic telecom equipment. And it’s not only the US that is sensitive. Over $200 billion in potential mergers or acquisitions around the world have fallen through because of political or regulatory opposition to Chinese investment, according to the US think tank, the Heritage Foundation.

That’s a missed opportunity, the US Chamber report says. Chinese investment in the US last year reached a record $6.5 billion, but even that is only a fraction of the People’s Republic’s total overseas foreign direct investment, or OFDI. [...]