The 23rd edition of the American Business in China White Paper explores the cross-cutting, industry-specific, national, and regional issues faced by AmCham China’s member companies in 2020 and early 2021. Each chapter offers practical recommendations for addressing challenges facing the American business community that will, if implemented, benefit both foreign-invested enterprises (FIEs) and the Chinese economy. We hope that this year’s White Paper will serve as a constructive tool for both the China and US governments to build on the progress established by the Phase One Agreement and reorient the bilateral relationship towards a more sustainable, balanced economic footing.
中国美国商会的第23版《美国企业在中国白皮书》探讨了2020 年和2021 年初商会会员企业所面临的跨领域的、行业的、全国性和地区性问题。每一章都提出了应对这些挑战的实用建议，如果得以实施，将使外商投资公司和整个中国经济受益。商会希望今年的《白皮书》能够成为中美两国政府合作的一个建设性工具，并在第一阶段协议的基础上准备第二阶段谈判，推动双边关系朝着经济可持续和平衡发展的方向前进。
At a Glance
US-China economic relations remain deeply intertwined. Two-way bilateral trade in goods totaled US $560 billion in 2020, despite the COVID-19 pandemic. China is among the largest and fastest growing markets in the world and constitutes an important market for US products and services. China’s market also has a robust R&D and innovation ecosystem, and many leading American companies obtain a substantial portion of their revenue from the China market. China is a key source and supplier of a vast number of products and components, often at low cost, which delivers benefits to US producers and consumers.
In 2020, many of the guardrails in the US-China relationship were further damaged and the bilateral relationship continued to deteriorate in all spheres: economic and trade, national security, law enforcement, news and media, and people-to-people bilateral exchange. The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated many of these trends, deepened mistrust between the two sides, and led to a renewed focus on supply chain security, reshoring, and domestic manufacturing. Meanwhile, many longstanding economic and commercial issues that plague the foreign business community remain unaddressed, including China’s long-standing support for its state-owned enterprises (SOEs), preferential treatment for domestically-invested enterprises under various industrial policies, preferences for domestic technologies and products over foreign technologies and products in the procurement process, strict cybersecurity and data localization requirements, and cyber intrusions.
Consequently, a majority of our members reported “US-China bilateral tensions” had become the top challenge to doing business in China. In last year’s White Paper, we noted that 2019 had been a turbulent year due to the imposition of bilateral tariffs and deteriorating bilateral relations. Events in 2020 only served to compound those trends, while COVID-19 created a whole new set of challenges. AmCham China acknowledges that the US-China relationship is undergoing a fundamental recalibration and acknowledges the legitimate right of all countries to define and protect their national security. We remain opposed to any effort at outright decoupling of the US-China relationship. The costs of decoupling from losing trade and foreign investment benefits for both countries would be significant and are unlikely to generate clear winners. In order to be globally competitive, American producers and service providers must be able to compete in the China market on a level playing field. Nevertheless, extensive market access barriers, protectionism, an opaque regulatory system, and discriminatory enforcement continue to hinder the operations of US business in China today.
因此，大多数成员均指出“中美双边关系紧张” 已成为在中国开展业务的首要挑战。在去年的白皮书中，中国美国商会（以下简称“商会”）指出，由于征收双边关税和恶化的双边关系，2019 年是动荡的一年。 2020 年所发生的事件只会使这些趋势更加复杂，但新冠疫情则带来了一系列全新的挑战。商会承认中美关系从根本上正在经历重新调整，并承认所有国家界定和保护其国家安全的合法权利。商会坚决反对做出任何与完善中美关系彻底脱钩的努力。脱钩会导致两国在贸易和外国投资上利益损失巨大，因此两方都不可能在这场博弈中成为赢家。为了增加全球竞争力，美国生产商和服务提供商必须能够在中国市场上公平展开竞争。然而，广泛的市场准入壁垒、保护主义、不透明的监管体系和歧视性的执法仍然阻碍着美国企业在中国的经营。
White Paper Delivery Meetings
Throughout the year, AmCham China leadership, staff, and delegations of select members deliver the latest White Paper to Chinese government officials and agencies at all levels, think tanks, and other organizations to discuss the White Paper’s advocacy messaging and share recommendations with the central, municipal, and local governments.