Chinaambassador to the United States visited Georgiathe centerpiece Chinese manufacturing investment Thursday, talk trade with business leaders as chairman Joe Biden the weighted relief of some Chinese tariffs to help mitigate inflation.

As an ambassador Gang Qin goes around the fishing town assembly plant Sany Americathe Changcha, ChinaA maker of excavators and other heavy machinery, he asked company executives how prices might be affected if the 25% tariff on its imports from China were lifted.

“It’s a burden…” Global Sourcing Director Brett Malson Mr. Qin says as they walk past rows of excavator parts in a video provided to Global Atlanta by the the chinese embassy in Washington. “…that’s why we are considering locating these parts.”

Mr Malson said removing tariffs would mean lower costs for Sany, but also cheaper prices for US customers, making them both more competitive.

In a 2019 interview, the CEO of Sany Doug Friesen told Global Atlanta that the company has continued to invest despite artificially imposed cost increases under the Asset administration.

“I can’t stand these prices. It’s terrible for our business, but we’ve doubled down,” Friesen said at the time. “As bold as Sany was to build this building to say, ‘We’re here to stay,’ it’s as bold as we are on pricing. We’ve told our dealer network, we’ve told everyone — it doesn’t slow us down.

To mitigate some effects of the tariffs, Sany started importing the knocked down parts and assembling them locally, since the landed values ​​are different without all the in-house labor and assembly.

But the company had already planned to locate production under Mr. Friesen’s direction.

“Before tariffs even came up, we were talking about doing it here anyway, because we wanted to have a global footprint,” Friesen said during the 2019 discussion, but tariffs removed any point of questioning the wisdom of this strategy. .

Now, the massive, shiny building on 272 acres that for years stood eerily empty is teeming with inventory and activity, a sign that Sany has been able to break through with its network of more than 50 dealers and deliver its products despite chain issues. of supply and a turbulent period in US-China relations.

In 2021, Sany was the fourth largest construction equipment company in the world. Mr. Friesen told the state corporation China Daily this week that since joining in 2017, Sany has distanced himself from companies battling the bottom of the market in the US and now plans to go after the “big guys” like caterpillar and Komatsu.

During his visit, Mr. Qin, the ambassador, took selfies and chatted with employees in the factory, learning what it takes to climb the corporate ladder. He turned a torque wrench to put the finishing touches on an excavator, then drove a telehandler, a truck with an extendable forklift mounted on top.

“I myself tried to assemble and use an excavator at SANY America. Based in Georgia, they employ over 200 workers and supply excavators to over 50 dealerships across the United States,” Mr. Qin wrote on Twitter, a social media site blocked in China. “Their ‘Made in America and Made for America’ model is a good example of win-win cooperation between China and the United States.”

According to reports, Sany now has more than 240 workers in Peachtree City, bringing it closer to lofty promises from a decade ago to hire more than 300 people at the $60 million plant. In 2018, the company’s billionaire chairman, Liang Wengenvisited Peachtree City.

The Biden administration’s U.S. Trade Representative, Katherine Taiis in the midst of a tariff review process that could see the easing of a series of levies imposed on imports worth more than $350 billion under the former president Donald Trump. Mr. Trump has launched a trade war that has caught many American producers in the middle and contributed to a deterioration in relations that has been exacerbated during COVID-19.

At $355 billion, the U.S. merchandise trade deficit with China was higher in 2021 than in 2016, and the country continues to be Georgia’s largest trading partner by total trade (representing both imports and exports).

As inflation hits 8% in the United States, President Biden said this week that he was considering various options to ease upward pressure on prices.

Mr. Qin also visited Wesleyan College in Macon, recalling the college’s historic ties to China through the formation of the famous three Soong sisters, two of whom married Sun Yatsen and Chiang Kaishek. Wesleyan, a private college for women, also operates one of the few Confucius Institutes who continued to accept Chinese funding for language programs even after the network of language centers came under fire from the Trump administration. After his stop there, Mr. Qin visited The Carter Center in Atlantawhose Chinese program has sought to remain a channel for dialogue between U.S. and Chinese officials during a tense period.