America’s manufacturing sector has long been in a state of decline, but Alibaba Group Holding Limited (NYSE/BABA) executive chairman Jack Ma thinks that might be about to change. (Source: The Wall Street Journal, June 8, 2015.)
The founder of the Chinese online retailer is on tour across the United States, trying to encourage small- and medium-sized American businesses to partner with the web site. It used to be the case that China was the workshop of the world, with containers going from China to the U.S. Now the pattern seems to be changing, and Alibaba is willing to facilitate the process.
This is good news for American businesses, because Alibaba’s e-commerce platform creates a new channel to sell American-made products to billions of consumers in China. That means more exports, more growth, and more jobs for U.S. manufacturers.
According to Jack Ma, the Chinese middle class are eager to buy goods from abroad. Consumers are willing to pay a premium for quality products made in the U.S.
His plan is to “connect small business in the West with the largest, fastest-growing market in the East.”
Chinese consumers like to “buy seafood from Alaska, pork from Iowa, children’s toys from Rhode Island and sports gear from Oregon and Maryland,” referencing U.S. brands such as Hasbro Inc. (NASDAQ/HAS), Nike, Inc. (NYSE/NKE), and Under Armour, Inc. (NYSE/UA).
Jack Ma has high hopes for the future. At a conference in Chicago, the executive told a packed auditorium that Alibaba’s total transaction volume would reach more than $1.0 trillion by 2020. Now it appears U.S. manufacturers will play a big role in helping the company hit that goal.