Republicans in Congress have been objecting to new infrastructure spending that would put Americans to work repairing and rebuilding bridges, highways, schools, airports, skyscrapers, high speed rail lines, and clean energy industries. Now we may know why.
San Francisco is getting a new bridge connecting to Oakland. But it’s not being built by American workers. It’s being built in China and shipped back to America for assembly. But that’s not the only infrastructure project being built by the Chinese, and it’s not just being built in China. It turns out, the state owned Chinese contractors are being hired out to build American infrastructure right here in the United States.
According to Engineering News Record, five of the world’s top 10 contractors, in terms of revenue, are now Chinese. One of them, China State Construction Engineering Group, has overtaken established American giants like Bechtel.
The Chinese contractor has already built seven schools in the US, apartment blocks in Washington DC and New York and is in the middle of building a 4,000-room casino in Atlantic City. In New York, it has won contracts to renovate the subway system, build a new metro platform near Yankee stadium, and refurbish the Alexander Hamilton Bridge over the Harlem river.
But why are we hiring contractors from China to build American infrastructure, when we have a perfectly good workforce here in the states? The answer is profit, and it’s the reason why Republican politicians and many corporations do not support infrastructure projects that would put millions of Americans to work. Because the Chinese contracting firms are government owned, they are able to bid for contracts at very low prices. In other words, the labor is cheap. American companies don’t want to hire Americans to do the work when they can call up Communist China to come do the work instead. This is particularly helpful to Republicans politicians because their campaigns receive the extra profits made by these companies. It’s a win-win. But it’s a loss to Americans who are desperate to find work.
Obviously, Republicans will say that all we need to do is end regulations and abolish the minimum wage to entice companies to start hiring Americans. But that’s pretty un-American if you ask me. What Republicans are saying is that if we want to beat China, we need to be just like them. That’s very hypocritical considering the rhetoric Republicans have been using to slam communism all the while praising the free market system. How exactly “free” is the free market when they hire the Chinese to do jobs that Americans should be doing? How are private enterprises “patriotic” when they favor Chinese workers over American workers? The reason America became the richest country in the world is because we made sure that Americans were paid livable wages and not pennies. We passed regulations to keep American workers safe on the job and American consumers safe at home. And private industry employed Americans, and made products in America. That is how America became an economical superpower. American companies would still make huge profits by hiring Americans at livable wages. They just don’t want to because they want to make disgustingly bigger profits. It’s all about the bottom line.
We shouldn’t be hiring Chinese contractors to build our infrastructure. We should build our schools. We should build our roads and bridges. We Should build our high speed rail lines. The fact is, by hiring such contractors, the American private sector is relying on a foreign government owned industry to do the work, all while they oppose the United States government getting involved in infrastructure programs that would create American jobs for American citizens. It’s time for the American government to take back what American corporations have been giving away to the Chinese for the last decade. And the only way to do that is to fire the Republican politicians who only represent the interests of corporations and replace them with politicians that want to create jobs for Americans. Because it is clear, that private industry will not hire Americans to do the work when they can hire slave labor do it instead. We cannot let that be the new American way.