I have had the privilege of serving on the AmCham China board many times during the past several decades, including as Chairman during 2000 and 2001 when AmCham did important work to support China’s entry into the WTO. Today, US-China relations face the most consequential challenges we’ve seen in the past thirty years, and developments during the coming year may help shape US-China relations for many years to come. AmCham China is poised to play an important role in helping to shape and inform the bilateral negotiations. The perspective of American companies doing business on the ground will be vital as the two governments seek to formulate practical solutions to deep, systemic problems that are not adequately addressed by current WTO rules. I hope, through re-election to the board, to have the opportunity to contribute once again to AmCham’s work, applying my experience as a former senior U.S. trade negotiator, former general counsel for General Motors in China, former Commercial Minister-counselor at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, and outside counsel helping companies across a wide range of industries address market entry, regulatory compliance, IPR, antitrust, and government affairs issues in China. As in the past, I will actively support AmCham activities and initiatives and help advocate diplomatically but energetically for our interests with both Chinese and U.S. government officials.
Tim Stratford is managing partner in the Beijing office of Covington & Burling LLP, an international law firm headquartered in Washington, D.C. Mr. Stratford’s practice focuses on advising international clients doing business in China and assisting Chinese companies seeking to expand their businesses globally. As a former Assistant United States Trade Representative, Mr. Stratford is the most senior former U.S. official working as a member of the U.S. business community in China. Except for the five years he spent in Washington, D.C. in government service (2005 to 2010), Mr. Stratford has lived and worked continuously in the greater China region since 1982, including as Minister-Counselor for Commercial Affairs at the US embassy in Beijing and as general counsel for General Motors China operations. Mr. Stratford has also served as chairman of AmCham China (2000-01). He is a graduate of Harvard Law School and Brigham Young University, and is fluent in Mandarin and Cantonese.