If you take what's considered to be the most expensive and the least expensive – consider the US with its massive land and cheap people. Then you look at the UK – a little island where rent and rates are at an absolute premium, and the cost of people is a lot more.
Giving him the benefit of the doubt, he's talking business here; that people are somehow monetary units and the people of the US are "cheap people" compared to the expensive people of the UK.
So, even if he wasn't saying that people in the US are cheap, he is saying that he thinks of people as pieces of meat, meant to be relatively priced and compared. Asshole.