On September 19, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, the National Development and Reform Commission, the Ministry of Transportation, the Development Research Center of the State Council, and the Zhejiang Provincial People’s Government jointly held the International Forum on Resilient and Stable Industrial and Supply Chains. Joining the event virtually, Vice Premier Liu He of the State Council shared a congratulatory letter from Chinese President Xi Jinping.
Also at the Forum, AmCham China Chairman Colm Rafferty delivered virtual remarks and AmCham Vice Chair Gloria Xu attended in-person. In his speech, Rafferty highlighted AmCham China’s work and recent government engagements. Regarding supply chain issues, while he pointed out that related concerns are not new to the Chamber’s multinational membership, he said COVID-19 outbreaks pose the most serious challenge to the stability of supply chains. Initial disruptions of corporate supply chains began amidst normal business operations in 2018, driven by bilateral tensions, and have since worsened due to pandemic-related restrictions. The Chamber continues to recommend that the Chinese government seek a more balanced approach between pandemic prevention, economic development, and opening up of the country, to provide a healthy business environment for enterprises to operate and develop in China.
In order to promote international industrial cooperation, Rafferty proposed the following policy suggestions:
- The US and China should encourage action-based engagement to create substantive and mutually beneficial initiatives and solutions. AmCham China encourages both governments to prioritize bilateral communication at the working level, with strong and constructive business community engagement.
- The US and Chinese governments should realize more clear and evenhanded policy and regulatory implementation, with an increased focus on: policy communication and clear enforcement guidelines by both governments, increased communications with multinational companies when proposing key industrial regulation changes, and ensuring companies are allowed sufficient time to implement necessary changes. AmCham China represents nearly 1,000 member companies in China and we are keen to work closely with partners from both the government and business sectors to facilitate exchanges.
- The US and China should adhere to globally accepted trading rules, support and strengthen the existing multilateral trade regime, and avoid protectionist tendencies in an effort to strengthen global businesses’ supply chains resilience. Both sides should separate issues of national security and identify guardrails to guide bilateral relationship in other spheres. On supply chain innovation, we recommend for governments and businesses to exchange ideas and best practices to make the global supply chains greener and more digital, for which more globally aligned decarbonization and digital standards and policies are essential.
- The US and China should start or intensify negotiations on areas of national security, law enforcement, military, and other spheres of the bilateral relationship, with a goal to seek alignment and improve coordination across each of these spheres, so that regular trade and business activities can flourish.