Business groups worry Trump unprepared for commercial talks with China


china businessmen whisper
Two
delegates whisper before the second plenary session of the
Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference at the Great
Hall of the People on March 9, 2015 in Beijing,
China

Feng Li/Getty
Images


  • Some business leaders worry that President Donald Trump
    is not adequately prepared for upcoming talks with
    China. 
  • US businesses say they face more restrictions in China
    than Chinese businesses do in the US. They want Trump to
    negotiate better terms for them. 
  • President Xi Jinping, however, has promised
    reforms. 

BEIJING, Oct 31 (Reuters) – A top U.S. business lobby in China
said on Tuesday it was concerned U.S. President Donald Trump’s
administration was not making sufficient preparation for talks on
imbalances in the bilateral economic relationship ahead of his
November visit.

Little advance work has been done for the visit, said William
Zarit, chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce in China. He
was referring to meetings by working level officials to negotiate
outcomes on commercial issues for Trump’s meeting with his
Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping.

“From what I understand, there really hasn’t been much of that
for this visit, which makes us a bit concerned that there may not
be much discussion on the structural issues,” Zarit told
reporters in Beijing.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross will bring a business
delegation to Beijing during Trump’s visit. Some in the U.S.
business community are worried that deals announced on the trip
could distract from solutions to long-standing complaints over
discriminatory Chinese policies and market access restrictions.

Zarit said he hoped proposed deals from the business delegation
“do not overshadow the real need for structural changes in the
economic relationship”.

Trump, who will stop in five Asian countries on his first visit
to the region as president, will arrive in Beijing on Nov. 8.

‘Master negotiators’

U.S. officials were “still waiting” for a Chinese response to
issues raised during the U.S.-China Comprehensive Economic
Dialogue in July, Zarit said, though he did not give specifics.

He called Chinese officials “master negotiators” and said the
U.S. government and business community had long suffered from a
less strategic view of the economic relationship.

“And I think there is no exception with this administration,”
Zarit said.

He added that it was “not unreasonable” to expect more progress
10 months into Trump’s presidency.

Ross, has said the United States will be looking for “immediate
results” and “tangible agreements” during Trump’s visit, but has
acknowledged that market access, intellectual property rights,
and tariffs are more complex and will take a longer time to
negotiate.

Washington and Beijing launched a 100-day economic plan during
Trump’s first meeting with Xi in April, including some
industry-specific announcements, such as the resumption of
American beef sales in China. But U.S. business groups have
expressed disappointment over the extent of the outcomes.

Xi vows reforms 


china trade
Business
leaders will join President Trump during his visit to
Beijing.


AP
Images



Xi vowed on Monday that China would take more measures to open up
the economy. He made the remarks at a meeting with members of an
advisory board to Tsinghua University’s School of Economics and
Management, including Apple Inc chief executive Tim Cook and
Facebook Inc’s Mark Zuckerberg.

China will make joint efforts with the United States to “take
each other’s interests and concerns into consideration, resolve
disputes and contradictions, and engage in win-win cooperation”,
Xi said according to the official China Daily newspaper.

But such frequently made pledges have done little to baduage
foreign companies’ concerns over ownership caps in key sectors,
such as autos, securities, insurance, and information technology.

U.S. business lobbies argue that their members are restricted in
those industries while Chinese companies operate freely in the
U.S. market. They have also criticized Beijing’s “Made in China
2025” plan, which offers government backing for sectors the
Chinese government deems strategic.

Particularly galling to foreign tech firms are a slate of new
national security and cyber security regulations that mandate
companies store crucial data within China and pbad security
reviews they argue could put business secrets at risk.

“Basically, when we look at that, what it boils down to for us is
it’s a company competing against a country,” Zarit said.


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