During its final day in Washington, the AmCham Shanghai Doorknock Delegation met with key members of Congress, trade experts from the Peterson Institute of International Economics, and members of the Washington press corps for a closing press conference. The delegation’s principal points adhered to the visit’s themes: the United States should use President Xi Jinping visit to support U.S. business, and American businesses are finding ways to succeed in China despite facing significant regulatory and operational challenges.
The delegation’s Hill meetings included sessions with several key legislators: Representative Matt Salmon (R-Arizona and Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia), Representative Pete Sessions (R-Texas and Chairman of the House Rules Committee), Representative Adrian Smith (R-Nebraska), Senator Cory Gardner (R-Colorado and Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on East Asia), Senator Johnny Isakson (R-Georgia), staffers from the Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s Trade and Economics Team and staffers from the Senate Finance Committee. Discussions centered around conditions for American companies, economic trends in China, prospects for economic reform, currency, TPP, Chinese investment in the United States, cyber-security and South China Seas.
Peterson Institute for International Economics Senior Fellow Gary Hufbauer, Senior Fellow Jeff Schott, and China Program Manager Sean Miner provided an
update on the TPP negotiations, U.S.-China BIT, and preparations for the Xi visit. There was discussion of the prospect of the U.S. sanctioning China before the Xi visit because of cyber-espionage. Both Hufbauer and Schott believed the TPP had a good chance of being adopted before President Obama leaves office. If not adopted during the Obama administration, Hufbauer believed it would be passed during the next administration.
The delegation ended its Washington Doorknock with a press conference hosted by National Foreign Trade Council President Bill Reinsch. Nearly 20 members of the press posed questions on the state of U.S.-China relations, U.S.-China BIT, potential of cyber-security sanctions before the Xi visit, and the Chinese economy.
As the press event concluded, so fell the curtain on this year’s Doorknock. How do we rate this year’s visit? First, it is important to keep in mind that the annual Doorknock is just one component of the Chamber’s efforts throughout the year to inform and shape the debate in Washington on U.S.-China policy and this year was no exception. We do not expect the Doorknock to change minds overnight. However, we do hope the Doorknock helps Washington policymakers make decisions affecting the business community using facts provided by those who manage American businesses in China. Second, if we rate the Doorknock based on the level of our reception and the attention to our comments, this year’s visit was a success. As these dispatches have reported, the delegation met some of the most influential China policymakers in the Obama Administration and in Congress. We also had excellent exchanges with key think tanks, academics, and U.S. business organizations. In all our meetings, we found a high level of interest in what we said, both on the investment climate and our recommendations regarding priorities for the Xi visit.
After three days of nonstop meetings, we now await the visit of President Xi Jinping later this month. We hope his visit provides the opportunity to make progress on the U.S.-China bilateral agenda and establishes a greater level of trust and cooperation between our two governments