Amcham meets with US Ambassador Baucus to discuss US-China bilateral relations 

US Ambassador to China Max Baucus met with leaders of AmCham SW China and selected member companies while visiting Chengdu on August 25th. Ambassador Baucus and accompanying staff from the US diplomatic mission in Beijing and Chengdu solicited input from local members of the US business community in Chengdu, regarding issues of great concern to them in US-China relations. 

Among the many issues raised by member companies were equal market access for American companies operating in the China, difficulties created by protectionist trade policies, and restrictive regulations that specifically target foreign companies in certain sectors. These issues were raised in regards to consumable products being imported, as well as Chinese policies limiting the operating scope of foreign companies in sectors such as insurance and financial services. 

Concerns were raised about transparency such as, being able to access written regulations to obtain information about permitting and licensing procedures. Additionally, members would like to know how to contact local officials to give feedback about economic policy issues. Those that had experienced instability in local infrastructure in the past, were unable to convey their complaints to local officials. The Ambassador pledged to try to support American companies by bringing such issues to the attention of Chinese officials in the future. 

Another major issue raised by members in the discussion was the effect of the general economic slowdown in the country on the business climate. The rising costs of qualified labor and overcapacity in certain market sectors have put a damper on the prospects of several industries. This has reduced optimism about future growth. In addition to the unequal treatment compared with Chinese companies, these issues are especially concerning to US enterprises weighing the possibility of expanding in the Chinese market. Further issues noted in the discussions included the importance of continuing to improve IPR protections as well as the rising threat of cybersecurity threats to US business operating in China. 

Despite the challenges ahead, both AmCham members and the Ambassador expressed general optimism about the future of US China business relations. The Ambassador discussed the ongoing negotiations between the US and Chinese regarding a comprehensive bilateral trade agreement (BIT), which is currently being discussed between the two countries. Such an agreement would provide a framework for treatment of businesses engaged in foreign direct investment (FDI) in both countries, and could potentially serve as a vehicle for increased cooperation in a number of areas. 

AmCham SW China was honored to have the opportunity to speak to the highest level of diplomatic representation from the US in China. We look forward to facilitating the dialog between US businesses and government leaders in the future. 

 

  8月25日,美国驻华大使马克思·博卡斯先生到访成都,会见了西南美商会理事会以及部分美资企业CEO。博卡斯大使以及同行的北京和成都两地美国外交使团,就中美关系最重要的问题,征求了成都地区美国商界人士的意见。

    在会谈中,美商会会员企业代表首先提出了在华美资企业获得平等市场准入的问题,以及在华美资企业所面临的贸易保护政策和在特定领域专门针对外资企业的一些限制性规定。这些问题主要是针对进口中国的消费品,同时也针对在某些领域如保险和金融服务业限制外资企业一些中国政策。

    其次会谈中还提出了透明性问题,如如何获取书面法律法规来了解许可执照获取程序信息,美资企业代表还提出如何通过与地方官员交流获得经济政策问题反馈。一些会员企业面临地区基础设施建设不稳定现象,但也无法向地方官员反映,博卡斯大使承诺将努力支持美资企业将这些问题反馈给中国官员。

    讨论中提出的另一个重要问题是,在经济大环境下中国整体经济放缓对外资企业的影响。劳动力成本的上升以及特定市场领域产能过剩抑制了一些行业的发展,同时也降低了对未来经济增长的信心。加之与中国企业相比所获得的不公平待遇,对于美资企业来说,在考虑是否扩大中国市场时,这些问题将起到举足轻重的作用。讨论中还提及一些其他的问题,包括继续提高知识产权保护的重要性以及在华美资企业所面临的与日俱增的网络安全威胁。

    中国西南美国商会很荣幸有此次机会与美国驻华最高外交代表进行会谈,未来西南美商会也将继续促进美国企业和政府领导之间的对话。