For its first full day of meetings, the AmCham Shanghai Doorknock delegation discussed the business climate in China for U.S. companies, prospects for the TPP and U.S.-China Bilateral Investment Treaty, outbound Chinese investment and other key U.S.-China business issues with senior administration officials at the Departments of State, Treasury, Commerce and USTR. The delegation also met with experts at the Center for Strategic International Studies (CSIS), IMF China Mission Chief James Daniel, U.S. China Business Council Vice President Erin Ennis and members of a special task force of outside experts developing recommendations on U.S. China policy for the next administration. This is the second in a series of daily dispatches from Washington on the Doorknock delegation’s meetings. For a sense of the delegation’s discussions, please see click the links for comments from CSIS’s Chris Johnson on the U.S.-China relationship and from CSIS’s Matthew Goodman on the TPP.
The Doorknock delegation had a packed schedule of meetings on September 19 with key Obama Administration officials. The delegation called on Deputy Secretary of Commerce Bruce Andrews, Deputy USTR Robert Holleyman, Treasury Department Assistant Secretary for International Markets and Development Marisa Lago and Department of State Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Susan Thornton. Administration officials appreciated receiving the Chamber’s update on the economic environment in China for U.S. companies. They assured the delegation that the Obama Administration was committed to getting TPP passed and urged the business community, when engaged in TPP advocacy, to underline the important impact that TPP has on businesses in China. They also reported that work continues on the BIT and that there was significant progress made during the Obama-Xi meeting at the G20. They provided updates on preparations for the JCCT and welcomed input on both the JCCT and the S&ED.
The delegation also had wide-ranging discussions on the business environment in China with members of the think tank and business association community. U.S.-China Business Council (USCBC) Senior Vice President Erin Ennis provided her views on TPP, BIT, outbound Chinese investment, and cybersecurity. She offered similar observations as administration officials on the state of the BIT negotiations and the need for the business community to actively promote TPP. She noted calls for more reciprocity in regard to Chinese investment in the United States and the increased ability of Chinese companies to navigate the U.S. CFIUS process.
A CSIS- hosted lunch for the delegation was attended by Senior Advisor and Freeman Chair in China Studies Chris Johnson, Senior Advisor for Asian Economics Matthew Goodman, CSIS Senior Associate Claire Reade, CSIS School Chair in International Business Scott Miller, Senior Advisor Amy Searight, and Freeman Chair Emeritus Charles Freeman. They had divergent views on whether the TPP would pass with some predicting that it would narrowly pass while others believed the possibility of passing was rather low. Participants also discussed the general U.S.-China relationship and the need to improve the S&ED and JCCT processes.
The delegation also visited the IMF to meet with Mission Chief for China James Daniel. Mr. Daniel reported that the IMF has recently had consultations with China on the economy. He noted that the IMF has a very cooperative relationship with China and has provided the Chinese government with advise on the economy. He welcomed more interaction and input from the business community.
The delegation finished the day with a dinner with members of a special task force of experts that is preparing recommendations on U.S. China policy for the next administration. The dinner included George Washington University Professor David Shambaugh, Asia Society Center for U.S.-China Relations Orville Schell, Ambassador Stapleton Roy, former U.S. Trade Representative Charlene Barshefsky, Center for American Progress Senior Fellow Melanie Hart, U.S.-Asia Security Initiative Distinguished Fellow Karl Eikenberry, Eurasia Group Managing Director and Practice Head for Asia Evan Medeiros, and Sinocism Founder Bill Bishop. The taskforce appreciated hearing from the delegation about the business environment and the major challenges faced by the business community.
The delegation will shift its focus to Capitol Hill tomorrow and Wednesday, while also continuing with meetings with prominent think tanks.
Stay tuned for more updates and news from the Doorknock.
The 2016 AmCham Shanghai Doorknock is led by Board Chairman Ker Gibbs and includes 13 other members: AmCham Shanghai President Kenneth Jarrett; AmCham China President Alan Beebe; B&L (Shanghai) Engineering Consulting President Phil Branham; MKT& Associates CEO Michael Crotty; KPMG Markets Strategy Partner David Frey; Sigmatex- Asia General Manager Cameron Johnson; Technology Consultant and Investor Caroline Pan; Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP Co-Chair of Asia Practice and Partner Gentry Sayad; Coca-Cola Bottling Investments Group China CEO Glen Walter; AmCham Southwest China Chairman Benjamin Wang, Dupont Managing Director of Communications, Marketing, & Sales for North Asia, Australia, and New Zealand Helen Yang; International Learning Enterprise General Manager Vincent Yang; and Allergan China Country President Shirley Zhao.