China Investment in West Virginia Unleashes Optimism
21 November 2017
EIRNS—Gov. Jim Justice (R-WV) held a press conference on Nov. 20 to discuss the $83.7 billion in deals that the state had entered into with China, which were signed during the recent visit of President Trump to China. Although the deals include both low energy-flux-density extractive shale gas projects as well as higher-tech chemical manufacturing projects, the press conference was notable for the optimism that the China-U.S. deals have unleashed not only in West Virginia, which has the third-lowest median income in the U.S., but in many states across the country.
Governor Justice opened the press conference proclaiming,
ack to ‘rainy day’.... The coal business was dismal. What are you gonna do?..."
The Governor said he ordered his cabinet to
Governor Justice stated that the deal was not based on extraction of natural resources, but on the value-added of products produced from the shale in West Virginia. This will meet the state’s long-unfulfilled desire to "go up the value chain," he argued, and sell value-added products, not extracted raw materials like coal.
President Donald J. Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping witnessed West Virginia Secretary of Commerce H. Wood Thrasher and China Energy President Ling Wen sign a Memorandum of Understanding for the $83.7 billion project between China Energy and the state of West Virginia. This was the largest single investment in a series of projects that U.S. corporations and other states signed with China, totaling a reported $253 billion of investment in the United States.