The Core Issue Remains Reciprocal Treatment

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AmCham China Statement on Trump's Threat of New Tariffs

Trade wars are not easy to win, and all parties suffer. It seems the US is levying tariffs because it feels it has exhausted all other options, including over 20 years of bilateral discussions that have yielded too little in leveling the playing field for US companies. China feels justified to retaliate, claiming sovereignty and the right to protect its industries as a developing country.

The core issue remains reciprocal treatment, by which China would open its trade and investment markets as widely as America’s markets are open to China. Until that is achieved, no one-off mega-purchases of US products, nor incremental or symbolic Chinese market openings, will result in a long term, sustainable, and mutually beneficial commercial relationship.   

As frustrating as the bilateral dialogues have been for the US in the past, AmCham China still recommends resolving the present stalemate through results-oriented discussions with well-informed understanding of each other’s economic and political needs, and based on fairness and reciprocal treatment. We believe that opening China’s markets is not just a demand of its trading partners but also in China’s own fundamental economic interest.

William Zarit, Chairman of American Chamber of Commerce in China