DC Outreach

Every year, AmCham China leads a delegation of China-based business executives representing both US-based and foreign companies to Washington, DC. Collectively, our delegation represents hundreds of years of on-the-ground business experience in the Chinese market. With US-China relations reaching a critical juncture in 2019, and amidst the ongoing trade negotiations, our visit was a timely opportunity to communicate AmCham China’s positions and influence the conversation on US-China relations in DC.

2019 AmCham China delegation in front of the US Capitol

Between April 29 and May 3, 2019, 18 business executives representing such sectors as construction, oil & gas, technology, insurance, legal services, media, and consulting (among others) met with members of Congress, administration officials, and think tanks to discuss the state of US-China economic relations and share policy recommendations. Over a jam-packed week of engagement, our group met with:

Executive Branch

  • Department of Agriculture
  • Department of Commerce
  • National Security Council
  • Department of State

Legislative Branch

  • 20 Senate offices
  • 19 House offices
  • US-China Economic and Security Review Commission
  • Congressional Research Service

Think Tank Community

  • Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Heritage Foundation
  • Carnegie Endowment for International Peace


Meeting with the Chinese Ambassador to the US, Cui Tiankai

The delegation also had the opportunity to meet with Ambassador Cui at the Chinese Embassy, colleagues from the US-China Business Council, as well as network with the China General Chamber of Commerce in the US, an industry association representing Chinese businesses in the US, and attend a reception organized by the US-Asia Institute.

Colm Rafferty, AmCham China Vice Chairman and Vice President, Asia Pacific/Chairman, China of the Vermeer Corporation, participates in a panel of China-based CEOs at the 10th China Business Conference at the US Chamber

We delivered the following key messages on behalf of AmCham China:

  1. How we manage US-China relations in the months and years ahead will have a significant impact on the prosperity and well-being of the United States, China, our allies, and the whole world.
  2. Such an approach requires thoughtful, comprehensive, clearly communicated and well-coordinated US policies toward China. Much work remains to be done to develop, articulate, and implement such policies. 
  3. US prosperity and well-being – and success in competing with China – ultimately depend most on what the US does at home.

We also offered the following policy recommendations:

  • Articulating and Implementing a Principled and Comprehensive China Policy 

To better protect and promote US interests while maximizing the scope for beneficial cooperation between the US and China, the US government should foster greater trust and predictability by clearly communicating and consistently implementing in a well-coordinated manner a principled and comprehensive China policy that considers US-China engagement in the economic, national security, law enforcement, and educational and cultural spheres.

  • Concluding and Enforcing an Effective and Enduring Trade Agreement 

The US and China should seek agreement on (i) clear rules addressing the fundamental frictions that result from differences in our goals and economic and political systems, and (ii) an effective mechanism for addressing implementation issues as they arise.

  • Working with Like-Minded Trading Partners 

The US should work with like-minded trading partners to build and strengthen global and regional institutions to move China towards further reform in the non-market-based elements of its economic system.

  • Maintaining American Leadership 

The US should respond to the “China challenge” by identifying and implementing policies, programs and incentives necessary to maintain America’s commercial and technology leadership, including in the fields of education, job training, government R&D funding, and immigration.

  • Working with AmCham China

The US government should draw upon the knowledge and experience of the American business community in China – including as reflected in the comprehensive set of recommendations outlined in AmCham China’s 2019 White Paper – as it works to recalibrate US-China relations. In particular, our ongoing insights could be helpful to both the US and Chinese governments as they work to implement and enforce the trade and other agreements reached.

2019 DC Outreach Meetings on Capitol Hill

In addition to our meetings, AmCham China also co-sponsored the 10th annual China Business Conference with the US Chamber of Commerce. The two-day conference, which included participation by several delegation members, brings together senior and former government officials, private sector leaders, and scholars to discuss key economic, regulatory, and political issues affecting US business in China. Epitomizing the importance of the US-China trade relationship throughout this year’s conference, AmCham China Chairman Tim Stratford moderated a panel that included two former US Trade Representatives and a former WTO Appellate Body Judge.

AmCham China Chairman and Managing Partner, Covington & Burling Beijing office, Timothy Stratford delivers opening remarks at the 10th China Business Conference

Former US Trade Representative Amb. Charlene Barshefsky (left), Dean of the School of International and Public Affairs and Professor of Professional Practice, Merit E. Janow (Center) and Former US Trade Representative Amb. Susan C. Schwab (Right) take part in a panel discussing the potential for a US-China trade agreement


Founder and Co-Managing Partner of Skybridge Capital Anthony Scaramucci (Right) and Co-Founder and Executive Editor of Axios Mike Allen (Left) discuss the Trump Administration's policy toward China at the 10th China Business Conference

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