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Reduce Barrier to Foreign Business, US tells China

Reduce Barrier to Foreign Business, US tells China
Claiming that in recent months, there has been a raise in concerns due to a more complex regulatory environment in China, senior U.S. officials pressed China again on Tuesday to reduce barriers for foreign businesses.
Following the roll-out of a national security law limiting the use of overseas technology and a series of government investigations targeting foreign companies, there has been decline in confidence in the Chinese regulators by foreign business operating in and planning to set up shop in China aided by these regulatory and protectionist worries.
In addition to the regulatory laws that are related to the national security of the country, new Chinese regulations are claimed to favor local firms and makes it more difficult to operate in China, complained a number of U.S. business groups.
"Concerns about the business climate have grown in recent years, with foreign businesses confronting a more complex regulatory environment and questioning whether they are welcome in China," U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew told Chinese and American businesses and officials.
"Our two governments have a responsibility to foster conditions that facilitate continued and increased investment, trade, and commercial cooperation," Lew said, on the second day of high level talks between the two countries in Beijing.
"This means enacting policies that encourage healthy competition, ensuring predictability and transparency in the policy-making and regulatory process, protecting intellectual property rights, and removing discriminatory investment barriers. These policies are vital as China seeks to build on its economic progress in recent decades," Lew added.
US and China have more "skin in the game" to keep their economic relationship on an even keel as the two economies become more intertwined in shared prosperity, said Secretary of State John Kerry while speaking at the same event.
"So we have to work on intellectual property. We have to work on transparency and accountability, we have to work on certainty and the rules of the road," Kerry said, adding that certainty was critical for business.
There can be potential negative impact on non-profit health care groups that want to do business in China due to China's new law on foreign non-governmental organizations, said Kerry expressing concerns about the new law.
He added that barriers to investment in China should removed as quickly as possible.
China, the second largest economy on the globe, reiterated its commitment to welcoming foreign companies to the country.
Pointing to talks over a bilateral investment treaty as an example, State Councillor Yang Jiechi, China's top diplomat who outranks the foreign minister, said China was working to open its markets.
"We are comprehensively deepening reform, expanding, opening up, and our economy is expected to maintain long term medium-high growth rates," Jiechi said.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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