By Antonio Douglas
AmCham China, Tianjin’s Monthly Executive Briefing this February focused on a timely topic that is important to all of our members – the policy direction of the Trump administration and the implications for the American business community in China. As the first month of the new administration has unfolded, many are anxious to gain better insights into the future of US-China trade in an ever-changing environment. Approximately 40 members of the foreign business community gathered on February 16 at the Renaissance Tianjin Lakeview Hotel to attend the briefing.
The event’s speaker was Lester Ross, the current Chair of both the Policy Committee and Insurance Forum at AmCham China. As someone who is in frequent communication with both American and Chinese government officials, Mr. Ross is uniquely qualified to provide insight into the Trump administration’s China policy. He offered members his thoughts on what to expect in the new administration, and shared some of his key takeaways including:'
- The Trump Administration faces multiple challenges in East Asia, and currently seems unprepared to address them.
- The United States’ abandonment of the Trans-Pacific Partnership has opened the door for bilateral trade agreements, but has lessened the amount of leverage available to the United States in East Asia.
- The United States’ economic policy is increasingly becoming tied to its national security.
The presentation’s content clearly resonated among audience members, with Mr. Ross fielding multiple questions from attendees. Martin Winchell, the Chair of AmCham China, Tianjin, commented on how the presentation was particularly useful in a period of some uncertainty. “[Lester Ross’] presentation today was timely given the awkward start ot the new administration’s trade, China, and related policies,” he said. “While there are not clear answers to important questions, Lester was able to provide insight into some potential themes that will help AmCham members be better prepared.”
The Executive Breakfast Briefing event occurs every month in Tianjin, and is aimed to help our members stay up-to-date on the most important issues. Head to the Chapter’s website for more news and to receive a free copy of the 2017 Business Climate Survey when you sign up for the weekly newsletter.
Antonio Douglas is an intern at AmCham China – Tianjin.