World Economy

Trump rails against China stealing US jobs, but China has concerns about the reverse

What will Trump and Xi talk about?

For the upcoming meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping and U.S. President Donald Trump, the White House has signaled that it will be talking about trade and jobs.

Throughout his campaign, Trump railed against China allegedly stealing American jobs. But in China, there's some concern that America could be the one stealing Chinese jobs.

State-run news agency Xinhua posted an editorial in March complaining about this potential problem. It specifically referred to a Chinese glass-making company, Fuyao Glass, investing hundreds of millions of dollars to revive a plant in Dayton, Ohio. That company, owned by billionaire Cao Dewang, is one of the biggest manufacturers of glass for car windows.

A worker checks a mask of U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump at Jinhua Partytime Latex Art and Crafts Factory in Jinhua, Zhejiang Province, May 2016.
Aly Song | Reuters

CNBC spoke to Fuyao Glass as well as other Chinese companies who had similar reasons for why they believed the U.S. is an attractive manufacturing destination: lower taxes, cheaper land, competitive transportation costs, and easier financing.

They said labor in the U.S. is more expensive, but that on the whole, America is becoming more cost-effective.

In fact, in the latest manufacturing cost-competitiveness index conducted by Boston Consulting Group, BCG found almost no cost difference at all between the U.S. and China. It reported that China's manufacturing cost advantage over the U.S. shrank from 14 percent in 2004 to an "insignificant" 1 percent in 2016.

Going into the summit, the Chinese have been focused on their own firms' investment in the U.S. and the contribution that China makes to the American economy, underscoring that the economic relationship is not detrimental to the U.S.