Our Policy Priorities reflect the opinions of the Chamber’s members, drawn from nearly 1,000 member companies headquartered not just in the US, but also Europe, Australia and other parts of Asia. These insights are drawn from multiple discussions among AmCham China members and supported by analysis of the annual China Business Climate Survey and the American Business in China White Paper.
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The American Chamber of Commerce in China
2023 Policy Priorities
US and China economically remain deeply intertwined. Two-way bilateral trade in goods rose from US $658 billion in 2021 to US $690 billion in 2022, despite the COVID-related slowdown and challenging bilateral relationship.  China’s market is an important market for US products and services, including high-tech sectors like civil aviation and healthcare. China is a key supplier of a vast array of products and components, delivering benefits to both US producers and consumers.
In 2022, the foreign business community faced twin challenges from a deteriorating US-China relationship and uncertainty stoked by pandemic-related regional lockdowns across China. These factors combined to create an uncertain policy environment for foreign-invested enterprises (FIEs) in China. Unsurprisingly, respondents in our 2023 China Business Climate Survey Report (BCS) cited “rising tensions in US-China relations” as their top challenge.
The US approach to the bilateral relationship is in a period of recalibration. At AmCham China, we respect the legitimate needs of both countries to define and protect their national security and law enforcement interests but urge them to do so in ways that leave space for commercially-focused engagement to take place and in close consultation with the business community. We recognize that the US must take steps to ensure that it retains long-term competitiveness, and we hope to amplify the voices of the American business community in China throughout this process.
However, in order to be globally competitive, China’s markets must be open and allow American producers and service providers to compete on a level playing field. We continue to urge the Chinese government to make good on its promises for further economic reform and continued opening to the outside world. The government should ensure that all legislation, such as the Foreign Investment Law, which went into effect on January 1, 2020, and included commitments to equal treatment for foreign enterprises, is implemented faithfully. On the US side, we welcome the opportunity to work closely with the Administration to provide a full account of the current situation of US companies on the ground in China and identify opportunities to advocate for a more equitable and sustainable economic relationship.
We recognize that there are significant areas of contention in the US-China relationship, many of which offer no easy prospect for resolution. Despite those frictions, however, the presence of US companies in China has served as a stabilizing force in the bilateral relationship and contributed economic value to both sides. The role of American businesses in China continues to be a positive force for sharing American values and employment practices in China, while promoting people-to-people exchanges during this challenging time.
Against this backdrop, our 2023 Policy Priorities reflect the reality of a bilateral relationship characterized by competition and values-based conflict. The Policy Priorities also aim to promote the crucial engagement needed to maintain the global position of American businesses. These priorities reflect the opinions of the Chamber’s diverse membership and are drawn from multiple discussions among AmCham China member companies and supported by survey analyses from our annual Business Climate Survey, White Paper, and additional Flash Surveys.
As a focus of our advocacy efforts, these priorities will guide our conversations with the Chinese government, US government, media, academics, and other stakeholders throughout the year. We acknowledge that the challenges are significant and may not be resolved within the short term. We hope, however, that these Policy Priorities can help to form a framework for AmCham China’s longer-term engagement and goals while fostering mutually beneficial commercial relationships between China and the US.
2023 Policy Priorities
Overview: (1) Maintain channels for commercial engagement, (2) Advocate for clear and consistent policies, and (3) Expand market access.
Priority 1: Maintain channels for commercial engagement and meaningful exchange while separately addressing national security concerns and values-based differences where possible.
Both governments should prioritize high level engagement to address longstanding concerns over national security, law enforcement, and values-based differences, while empowering working level officials to engage with their counterparts on less sensitive issues to widen the lines of communication available for cooperative discussions.
Priority 2: Advocate for clear and consistent policies at all levels of government along with transparent policy implementation directives and intentions.
We encourage increased focus on policy communication and clear enforcement guidelines by both the Chinese and US governments.
Priority 3: Expand market access for foreign-invested enterprises through continued efforts addressing ongoing concerns such as non-tariff barriers, the negative list, procurement restrictions, and unfair treatment in favor of SOEs and domestic companies generally
We advocate for the Chinese government ensure that any market access commitments are accompanied by actions that guarantee a level playing field for all firms within those industries, regardless of the nationality of their shareholders. The Chinese government should abandon the use of implicit, unpublished, or internal guidance to replace US or other foreign-made products/services with domestically-made equivalents.
2022 White Paper Summary & Policy Priorities Matrix
To distill AmCham China’s key messages and policy priorities, the 2022 White Paper Summary document maps our key recommendations by industry to AmCham China’s 2022 overarching Policy Priorities and at the same time reinforces the substance of the Policy Priorities with concrete examples of the kinds of challenges facing the American business community in China.