News / Asia

US Urges China to Lower Trade Barriers

U.S. Ambassador to China Gary Locke delivers a speech to the American Chamber of Commerce in the People's Republic of China and members of United States-China Business Council, in Beijing, September 20, 2011.
U.S. Ambassador to China Gary Locke delivers a speech to the American Chamber of Commerce in the People's Republic of China and members of United States-China Business Council, in Beijing, September 20, 2011.

U.S. Ambassador to China Gary Locke is urging Beijing to reduce barriers to foreign companies doing business there, reflecting the businesses' growing frustrations with the pace of Chinese economic reform.

In an address to American executives in Beijing Tuesday, Ambassador Locke praised China’s rapid economic development over the past 30 years, and said it was greater openness that made that prosperity possible.

But he expressed concern that the trends in China are now heading toward what he described as "a return to the state planning and industrial policies of the past."

“China’s current business climate is causing growing frustrations among foreign business and government leaders, including my colleagues back at home,” Locke said.

He added the biggest barrier to greater U.S.-China economic cooperation is a lack of openness in many areas of the Chinese economy.  He listed areas where he thinks the Chinese government has what he called counterproductive policies.

“Take, for example, China’s foreign direct investment policies, where foreign businesses face substantial restrictions in participating in a variety of Chinese industries, ranging from healthcare to energy to financial services and several others," he said. "And in industries like mining, power generation and transportation, the Chinese government selects national champions and effectively shuts out foreign competition altogether.”

At the same time, Locke’s speech Tuesday to the U.S. business community in China emphasized that U.S.-China economic cooperation is essential to global economic recovery.

Ted Dean, the chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce in China, said that Locke’s recommendations would also benefit Chinese companies.

“But then he also talked about issues that are certainly a priority for Chinese companies, like visas, like export controls, like investing in the United States," Dean said.  "And so, I think there was a lot that a Chinese company would look at and see prospects for help in the future as well.”

In his speech, Locke said President Barack Obama has ordered a total review of the U.S. export control system to enhance national security while eliminating unnecessary obstacles.  China has long said that U.S. export controls prevent it from importing some high-tech commodities.

The ambassador also said the U.S. government is working to reduce the wait times needed to obtain visas to the United States.

Locke is the first Chinese American to serve as ambassador to Beijing, but his humble travel habits have drawn as much scrutiny as his ethnicity. A photograph of him carrying his own luggage and buying his own coffee at the Starbucks in the Seattle airport, on his way to Beijing, was widely circulated on the Chinese Internet.

The photo drew comments saying his appearance and actions resembled an ordinary traveler, instead of a high-ranking diplomat flanked by assistants.

More recently, a Chinese journalist at a recent World Economic Forum in Dalian asked Locke if he flies economy class because the United States owes China so much money. Locke responded that is the standard policy for all U.S. officials.

China owns more than $1 trillion worth of U.S. debt.

You May Like

Could Nemtsov Threaten Putin in Death as in Life?

Dynamic and debonair opposition leader had supported liberal economic reforms, criticized Russian president's aggression in Ukraine More

Oil Smuggling Highlights Challenges in Shutting Down IS Finances

Pentagon spokesman says Islamic State 'certainly continues to get revenue from the oil industry black market' but that airstrikes have made a dent More

India Focuses on Infrastructure, Investment to Propel Economy

Government expects economy to grow at 8 to 8.5 percent in next fiscal year More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More