With President Trump set to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida, bilateral commercial relations are high on the agenda. Against this backdrop, Shaun Donnelly, USCIB’s vice president for investment and financial services, wrote a blog post “Don’t Give Up on a Gold Standard US-China BIT!” in Investment Policy Central. Donnelly argues that abandoning a decade-long effort to negotiate a Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) with China would be a “serious mistake” for U.S. interests. The agreement, if done right, would be a “win-win” for both countries, with the U.S. gaining plenty from a good, comprehensive and high-standard agreement.
“A strong BIT, is in America’s broad interest, good for American companies, workers, investors, states and communities and for American values. The U.S. wins when Chinese companies invest in the U.S., hire American workers, pay American taxes, and follow American standards and rules. And we also win when great American companies can invest successfully in China, pulling U.S. exports and brands, and business practices into fast-growing markets,” wrote Donnelly.
To achieve a comprehensive agreement, Donnelly argues that the Trump administration should consult key stakeholders in business, labor and civil society, as well as take the time to carefully assess best options and pros and cons.
Donnelly has over 30 years’ experience with the U.S. Department of State in a wide range of roles including: Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Economic and Business Affairs; U.S. Ambassador to Sri Lanka; Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Trade; Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Tunisia; and a detail as Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Europe and the Middle East.