Global Business Encourages China to Lead on Environmental Goods Agreement

Solar-workers_3Washington, D.C., July 8, 2016 – The United States Council for International Business (USCIB) joined dozens of international business organizations in urging the Chinese government to take a leadership role in concluding an ambitious Environmental Goods Agreement (EGA) this year. A concluded EGA, which is being negotiated under the umbrella of the World Trade Organization (WTO) among 17 WTO members, including the United States and China, would eliminate tariffs on a wide range of environmental goods and technologies.

“China has taken an increasing interest in playing a global leadership role on energy and environmental issues,” USCIB and other business organizations stated in a letter to Chinese government officials on June 8. “As this year’s host of the G20, China has a golden opportunity to lead the successful conclusion of the EGA by the 2016 G20 Hangzhou summit in September.” The G20 Trade Ministers are meeting in Shanghai this weekend.

The letter notes that as the largest producer of green technologies among EGA members, China has much to gain from a concluded agreement. A recent study found that the agreement would increase China’s exports by $27 billion as well as result in substantial economic benefits linked to improved environmental quality.

“We strongly urge China to demonstrate leadership that results in the conclusion of a commercially meaningful EGA this year,” the letter stated. “A concluded agreement would promote economic growth, improve environmental outcomes and advance innovation not only in China, but also around the world.”

Read the entire letter

Read more about USCIB’s China Committee

Contact:
Jonathan Huneke, VP communications, USCIB
+1 212.703.5043 or jhuneke@uscib.org

About USCIB:
USCIB promotes open markets, competitiveness and innovation, sustainable development and corporate responsibility, supported by international engagement and regulatory coherence. Its members include U.S.-based global companies and professional services firms from every sector of our economy, with operations in every region of the world. With a unique global network encompassing leading international business organizations, USCIB provides business views to policy makers and regulatory authorities worldwide, and works to facilitate international trade and investment. More information is available at www.uscib.org.

Business Urges U.S., China to Minimize Tech Economy Barriers

Computers_loresNew York, N.Y., August 12, 2015 – The United States Council for International Business (USCIB) has joined leading American business and technology groups in urging President Obama to use his upcoming summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping to improve the bilateral relationship for the U.S. information and communications technology (ICT) sector.

In a joint letter, the groups noted that the two countries have, for nearly four decades, “consistently pursued a mutually beneficial policy of encouraging economic openness and reducing barriers to bilateral trade and investment, including in the ICT sector.” But they said the benefits of that cooperation “are now at risk, as a result of increasing and proliferating threats to national cyber-security as well as China’s approach to defining its national security interests.”

The business groups said that, since the last U.S.-China summit in November 2014, China has “increasingly pursued policies that have adversely affected the ability of U.S. ICT firms to do business in China.” They called on the two countries to reaffirm their commitments to open markets, particularly in the ICT sector.

The groups also urged the U.S. and China to ensure that measures to protect national security affecting the ICT sector are necessary, narrowly-focused and minimize disruption to open trade and competition.

The full text of the industry letter is available at http://www.uscib.org/uscib-content/uploads/2015/08/2015_08_11_china_ict_letter.pdf.

About USCIB:

USCIB promotes open markets, competitiveness and innovation, sustainable development and corporate responsibility, supported by international engagement and regulatory coherence. Its members include U.S.-based global companies and professional services firms from every sector of our economy, with operations in every region of the world. With a unique global network encompassing leading international business organizations, USCIB provides business views to policy makers and regulatory authorities worldwide, and works to facilitate international trade and investment. More at www.uscib.org.

Contact:
Jonathan Huneke, USCIB
+1 917.420.0039, jhuneke@uscib.org

USCIB Applauds Progress at US-China Strategic & Economic Dialogue

New York, N.Y., May 4, 2012 – The United States Council for International Business (USCIB) hailed progress made on several fronts at the U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED) talks in Beijing this week.  USCIB President and CEO Peter M. Robinson said the two countries had demonstrated a “commitment to strengthen and deepen our business and economic ties,” and applauded in particular plans to negotiate a bilateral investment treaty (BIT).

According to the U.S. Treasury Department, the economic track of this week’s S&ED talks resulted in several important developments for American business, including:

  • agreement to intensify negotiations of a U.S.-China BIT
  • China’s commitment to provide non-discriminatory treatment to all enterprises, including state-owned enterprises (SOEs), in terms of credit, taxation and regulatory policies
  • agreement by China to take part in international talks to develop new rules on export financing, increase transparency in rule-making, and open up new sectors to foreign investment
  • China’s pledge to take steps to join the WTO Government Procurement Agreement.

“Taken together, these commitments could go a long way toward addressing some of the U.S. business community’s major concerns,” Robinson said.  “As an organization that seeks to promote trade, investment and regulatory coherence between the U.S. and the rest of the world, we are especially pleased with the decision to enter into BIT negotiations and address the SOEs issue.  We commend the U.S. and Chinese government for demonstrating their commitment to strengthen and deepen our business and economic ties.”

USCIB has been a leading American business voice urging the two governments to negotiate a strong, comprehensive BIT.  Last month USCIB welcomed the release of a revised U.S. model bilateral investment treaty.  “BITs are important tools to open overseas markets for U.S. companies, and they help drive U.S. exports and jobs in an increasingly competitive global marketplace,” Robinson said at the time.  “We are glad to see the U.S. getting back in the game, to ensure that we don’t fall behind our competitors in terms of investment protections.”

USCIB has also pressed for new international disciplines to ensure competitive neutrality for SOEs vis-à-vis their private-sector counterparts, including in third markets, and is working with the U.S. and other governments to address the issue in the Trans-Pacific Partnership talks and in the OECD.

About USCIB:

USCIB promotes open markets, competitiveness and innovation, sustainable development and corporate responsibility, supported by international engagement and prudent regulation.  Its members include top U.S.-based global companies and professional services firms from every sector of our economy, with operations in every region of the world.  With a unique global network encompassing the International Chamber of Commerce, the International Organization of Employers and the Business and Industry Advisory Committee to the OECD, USCIB provides business views to policy makers and regulatory authorities worldwide, and works to facilitate international trade and investment.  More information is available at www.uscib.org.

Contact:
Jonathan Huneke, VP communications, USCIB
(212) 703-5043 or jhuneke@uscib.org

More on USCIB’s China Committee

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Business Urges Attention to Ongoing US-China Market Access Concerns

4250_image002New York, N.Y., February 14, 2012 – As this week’s visit by Vice President Xi Jinping focuses attention on the complexity of U.S. relations with China, the United States Council for International Business (USCIB) is urging leaders from both countries to tackle important commercial and economic matters in order to keep this mutually beneficial relationship on an even keel.

 “The U.S.-China relationship extends across an array of geopolitical as well as economic issues, and our economies are now deeply intertwined,” stated USCIB President and CEO Peter M. Robinson.  “On balance, it provides significant benefits for both countries.  However, there remain too many commercial and economic issues handicapping the ability of American firms to compete in China and in third markets, thereby placing our workers at a disadvantage and impeding progress on the overall relationship.  These need to be urgently addressed.”

Mr. Robinson said major trade and investment priorities for American companies in China include, but are not limited to:

  • improving market access for key industries
  • resolving longstanding currency disputes
  • improving protection of intellectual property rights, and
  • ensuring competitive neutrality for state-owned enterprises.

“We urge the two governments to focus on resolving these issues through diplomatic means, both bilateral and multilateral, and to reinforce existing forums like the WTO, the Strategic and Economic Dialogue, and the Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade,” he said.

The USCIB president noted recent progress by China toward closer bilateral ties with other countries, including last week’s signature of a trade and investment agreement with Canada.  “We should be looking seriously at developing new agreements, such as a bilateral investment treaty (BIT) with China,” said Mr. Robinson.  “These could ensure continued liberalization of key markets and provide important security to American investments in the country.  Absent such agreements, American companies and workers could be disadvantaged when competing in China with companies from countries already benefitting from such agreements.  We shouldn’t be sitting on the sidelines.”

Mr. Robinson also called attention to an October USCIB statement on China’s compliance with its WTO accession commitments.  “As we noted in that statement, China has made important progress, but much work remains.  Priority issues include improving transparency in China’s regulatory environment, the need for fair and independent regulators, greater market access, non-discriminatory treatment and inadequate intellectual property laws.  We urge the U.S. and Chinese governments to take up these issues on a priority basis, and we stand ready to provide business views to help ensure a fully informed discussion.”

About USCIB:

USCIB promotes open markets, competitiveness and innovation, sustainable development and corporate responsibility, supported by international engagement and prudent regulation.  Its members include top U.S.-based global companies and professional services firms from every sector of our economy, with operations in every region of the world.  With a unique global network encompassing leading international business organizations, USCIB provides business views to policy makers and regulatory authorities worldwide, and works to facilitate international trade and investment.  More information is available at www.uscib.org.

Contact:

Jonathan Huneke, VP communications, USCIB

(212) 703-5043 or jhuneke@uscib.org.

More on USCIB’s China Committee

More on USCIB’s Trade and Investment Committee

 

USCIB Welcomes China’s Progress on WTO Commitments, but Concerns Remain

USCIB addressed its statement on China and the WTO to U.S. Trade Representative Susan Schwab.
USCIB addressed its statement on China and the WTO to U.S. Trade Representative Susan Schwab.

New York, N.Y., September 20, 2007 – China has made significant efforts to meet its obligations under the terms of its accession to the World Trade Organization, but concerns remain on compliance issues, according to a leading industry group.

In its annual review of China’s progress under its WTO accession terms, the United States Council for International Business (USCIB), which represents hundreds of  multinational companies, also praised the U.S. and Chinese governments for working to resolve bilateral trade frictions.

“The U.S.-China relationship is complex and multi-faceted, and our members have a direct and important stake in this engagement,” said USCIB President Peter M. Robinson.  “We believe China is making some progress on its WTO commitments, but still has a way to go on many fronts.  We appreciate that the United States and China are approaching these issues in a spirit of collaboration and partnership.“

The USCIB statement identified a number of areas warranting further efforts by Beijing to ensure full compliance with its WTO accession requirements.  Among these were a continued lack of transparency in rulemaking and in the judiciary, insufficient notice of new or proposed laws, unfair treatment of foreign firms in certain industries, and the continued inadequacy of intellectual property protection in China.

In addition, USCIB called on China to work toward sounder regulations governing such industries as chemicals, postal and express delivery services, and telecommunications.

Mr. Robinson said USCIB would continue to support the work of the joint U.S.-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade, as well as the bilateral Strategic Economic Dialogue, slated to reconvene in Beijing this December.

He also pledged active support for ongoing work in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development to promote regulatory reform in China and pursue enhanced engagement with the country.  USCIB is the American affiliate of the Business and Industry Advisory Committee to the OECD, which serves as the voice of business in the 30-nation organization.

The USCIB statement was submitted to U.S. Trade Representative, Susan Schwab by Mr. Robinsonand Clarence Kwan, national managing partner of Deloitte & Touche’s Chinese services group and chair of USCIB’s China Committee.

USCIB promotes an open system of global commerce in which business can flourish and contribute to economic growth, human welfare and protection of the environment.  Its membership includes more than 300 U.S. companies, professional service firms and associations whose combined annual revenues exceed $3.5 trillion.  As American affiliate of the leading international business and employers organizations, USCIB provides business views to policy makers and regulatory authorities worldwide and works to facilitate international trade.

USCIB statement on China’s WTO obligations

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Business Groups Plead for Senate to Reject Punitive Tariffs on China

Senators Lindsay Graham (R-S.C. ) and Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) have proposed massive tariffs on Chinese imports. (Photo: VOA)
Senators Lindsay Graham (R-S.C. ) and Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) have proposed massive tariffs on Chinese imports. (Photo: VOA)

New York, N.Y., September 22, 2006 – Anticipating a possible Senate vote on controversial legislation that would slap tariffs of 27.5 percent on all imports from China, the United States Council for International Business has joined a broad range of trade groups in urging the Senate to reject the bill.

In a letter delivered to the Senate yesterday, the groups expressed their strong opposition to S. 295, the Schumer-Graham bill, which would impose the tariffs if China refused to adjust its currency’s exchange rate against the U.S. dollar.

“Concerns with the exchange rate between China’s currency and the dollar cannot be resolved through arbitrary tariffs that violate the rules of the World Trade Organization and could destabilize the U.S. and global economies,” the letter stated. “Imposing a massive tax on an estimated $200 billion of American purchases will likely result in similarly significant retaliatory measures being taken against U.S. exports to China, thereby undermining, not enhancing, U.S. competitiveness.”

The legislation would also negatively impact American consumers and drive up production costs for U.S. companies, the letter said.

The groups said Senate passage of the Schumer-Graham bill “would derail the progress that has been made to date on China’s exchange rate policies and on broader financial sector reforms that are the essential element of a long-term solution, as well as the many other issues on which the U.S. government is seeking progress.” They also warned of negative reactions from other trading partners, saying the passage would represent a renunciation by the United States of its obligations under World Trade Organization rules.

USCIB also recently released a comprehensive statement on Chinese trade and investment practices in the context of its membership in the World Trade Organization, saying China and the United States have made progress toward resolving many key sources of bilateral commercial friction, but that China needs to work toward fully meeting its responsibilities under the WTO.

USCIB promotes an open system of global commerce in which business can flourish and contribute to economic growth, human welfare and protection of the environment. Its membership includes some 300 U.S. companies, professional service firms and associations whose combined annual revenues exceed $3 trillion. As American affiliate of the leading international business and employers organizations, USCIB provides business views to policy makers and regulatory authorities worldwide and works to facilitate international trade.

Business letter to the Senate on the Schumer-Graham bill

USCIB statement on China’s WTO Obligations

More on USCIB’s China Committee