爱意渐失 中国公司成美国市场的最新情人(上)

作者:未知 来源:译生译世 2017-04-07 我要评论( )

Bussiness
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Schumpeter:They’ve lost that loving feeling
熊彼特:爱意已褪

Foreign firms were lukewarm on America long before Donald Trump.
特朗普上台前,外国公司对美国早已丧失热情。

Which is it?
以下两者哪个才是美国?

The home of free speech, the rule of law and the rich world’s most dynamic economy?
言论自由、法治之地、富裕世界中最具活力的经济体?

Or a land of social decay, septic politics and the rich world’s worst roads and schools?
还是社会堕落、政治腐败、富裕世界里道路和学校最糟糕的国家?

America divides foreign observers.
外国观察家对美国看法不一。

It divides foreign firms, too.
外国公司同样如此。

Some bosses fall head over heels for its insatiable consumers and dazzling technology.
有些公司老板为美国庞大的消费群体和炫目的科技倾倒。

Other executives are put off by its insufferable lawyers and hypocritical protectionism.
也有高管因美国那些令人讨厌的律师和虚伪的保护主义而却步。

Donald Trump promises to give foreign firms a rude awakening when he reaches the White House: last month he beat up Toyota for making cars in Mexico and selling them north of the border.
特朗普承诺入主白宫后给外国公司猛敲一记警钟:上月,他便因丰田公司在墨西哥制造汽车并销往美国而向其开炮。

But in truth many foreign firms fell out of love with America years ago.
但实际上,许多外国公司在多年前便已不再钟情美国。

The conventional view is that foreign companies are irresistibly attracted to the place.
一般看法认为,外国公司难以抗拒美国的魅力。

If one affair ends in tears, there is always a new paramour in the wings.
假如一段情缘悲剧收场,总会有新的情人伺机而动。

In the 1970s British buccaneers, led by Sir James Goldsmith, picked up neglected firms.
上世纪70年代,以詹姆斯·戈德史密斯爵士(Sir James Goldsmith)为首的英国“海盗”把受冷落的美国公司收入囊中。

In the 1980s Japanese firms lost their financial virginity by paying too much for Hollywood studios and Californian skyscrapers.
80年代,日本公司首度大举投资,高价收购好莱坞的电影公司和加州的摩天大楼。

A decade later continental European firms rushed across the pond, culminating in Daimler’s doomed tryst with Chrysler, a rival carmaker.
十年后,欧洲大陆的公司竞相跨越大西洋涌入美国,随着戴姆勒与对手克莱斯勒发生一场注定难有善终的幽会,这一风潮达到顶峰。

By this account, Chinese firms are the latest to get the love bug, with China’s richest man, Wang Jianlin, in the role of the besotted tycoon, having paid a blockbuster $4bn to assemble a chain of mature American cinemas since 2012.
这样看来,中国公司是美国市场的最新情人。中国首富王健林就扮演了一位为美国疯狂的大亨,自2012年来,他已投入惊人的40亿美元来整合一系列成熟的美国院线。

But this narrative is hopelessly out of date.
不过这样的故事已经完全过时了。

The most accurate metaphor for foreign firms in America today is of disappointed hopes.
对于如今在美的外国公司,最准确的形容是“美梦破灭”。

Their share of private output has been flat at about 6% since 2000.
自2000年以来,它们在私营部门产出中所占份额一直停留在6%左右。

The share of sales that European firms make in America has declined from 20% in 2003 to 17% now, according to Morgan Stanley, a bank.
据摩根士丹利的数据,欧洲公司在美国的销售份额已从2003年的20%下降至如今的17%。

Foreign firms’ profits in America fell from $134bn in 2006 to $123bn in 2014, the latest year for which figures are available.
外国公司在美利润从2006年的1340亿美元降至2014年的1230亿美元(可获得数据的最近一年)。

Their return on equity fell to 6%, compared with 11% in 2006.
其股本回报率下降到6%,而2006年为11%。

American multinationals make 12% on their home turf.
美国跨国公司在自家主场的股本回报率则为12%。

This souring romance reflects three deep shifts in America’s economy.
花残月缺,浪漫不再——这反映出美国经济的三个深刻转变。

First, technology has a greater importance than it used to.
首先,科技的重要性更胜从前。

At the same time the gap between Silicon Valley’s giants and their peers abroad has grown wider.
同时,硅谷巨头与其海外同行之间的差距也已拉大。

A generation ago Europe and Japan had real contenders in the technology industry, such as Nokia and Sony.
二三十年前,欧洲和日本在科技行业还拥有可与美国企业实力匹敌的公司,如诺基亚和索尼。

Now they have no answer to the likes of Apple, Google and Uber.
而现在,它们并没有能挑战苹果、谷歌、优步等美国巨头的企业。

Second, waves of mergers and acquisitions have made the economy more concentrated.
第二,并购浪潮令美国经济更为集中。

That has raised the barriers to entry for outsiders.
这提高了外来者进入美国市场的门槛。

If you split the world’s companies into 68 industries, American firms are the largest in two-thirds of them.
如果将全世界的公司分为68个行业,其中有三分之二都由美国公司称霸。

Foreign companies in America are often subscale and too small to buy the leading firms in their sector.
在美国的外国公司通常规模较小,无法收购所在行业的领先企业。

So they try to grow organically or buy weaklings instead.
所以它们试图内生扩展或转而收购较弱小的公司。

In 2013 SoftBank, a Japanese technology group, paid $22bn to buy a struggling mobile-phone operator, Sprint, which is now losing a billion dollars a year.
2013年,日本科技企业软银斥资220亿美元收购苦苦挣扎的美国手机运营商Sprint,而现在Sprint年亏损十亿美元。

The most profitable investment in living memory by a foreign firm in America was not a gutsy triumph but a passive stake in a domestic oligopoly: Vodafone’s 45% share of Verizon Wireless, which it sold for $130bn in 2014.
记忆中,外国公司在美国投资获利最丰厚的并非是大胆行动获取的胜利,而是来自对美国国内寡头的被动投资:2014年,沃达丰以1300亿美元出售其拥有的威讯无线(Verizon Wireless)45%的股份。

译文来源考研英语时事阅读


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