Senior Counselor of the Cohen Group

Running for: Chair

Campaign Statement


Over the past year, thanks to our active membership and talented staff, AmCham China advocated superbly for US business. Leveraging our Business Climate Survey and White Paper, we discussed our issues directly with high-level Chinese officials, including party secretaries and vice ministers. We even had a former minister of commerce come to our office to talk policy.

And as a result of our February and May Doorknock trips to Washington, DC, and other meetings throughout the year with members of Congress and the Executive Branch, these officials are peppering their speeches with our talking points. Of course the press regularly seeks our opinions. As the voice for U.S. business in China, we continue to play a major advocacy role in bilateral economic relations.  

In our other services to the membership, including networking, training, and building a strong sense of community, I want to help make AmCham China even greater. The US-China business relationship keeps evolving, and the demographic of AmCham China members keeps evolving. AmCham China services must also continue to evolve. We will of course continue to focus on serving American companies with extraordinary policy advocacy. At the same time, AmCham China must better serve entrepreneurs, newcomers to China business, and others – young and not-so-young —  who are making their way here. We want AmCham China to be THE must-join organization in this evolving world of China business.

If elected I will continue to help make AmCham China even greater. Please vote for William Zarit for chairman. 


The Honorable William Zarit advises U.S. multinationals working in the Chinese commercial market and helps Chinese companies navigate the U.S. investment environment. A Senior Counselor with The Cohen Group, he also serves as Chairman of the Board for the American Chamber of Commerce in China.

Until May 2014 Mr. Zarit was Minister for Commercial Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, in charge of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s trade promotion and trade policy activities in its operations in Beijing, Chengdu, Guangzhou, Shanghai, and Shenyang. He retired with the diplomatic rank of Career Minister.

Prior to his posting to Beijing, Mr. Zarit was Deputy Assistant Secretary, International Operations, for the U.S. Commercial Service, overseeing Commercial Sections in U.S. Embassies and Consulates worldwide. The U.S. Commercial Service is the Federal Government’s front line trade agency, promoting both U.S. exports and foreign investment into the U.S., and protecting U.S. commercial interests overseas. Prior to that Mr. Zarit served as the U.S. Commercial Service’s Regional Director for East Asia/Pacific. He also served as Senior Commercial Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Deputy Senior Commercial Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, and Deputy Senior Commercial Officer at the American Institute in Taiwan.

Before joining the U.S. Commercial Service Mr. Zarit was Economic and Commercial Program Officer for the New York-based National Committee on U.S.-China Relations. Prior to that he served as Marketing Manager/China for Pacific Bell’s international operations, preceded by his work as Project Manager for the first IBM PC dealer in China, China Business Associates. Mr. Zarit also served as Mandarin Chinese Interpreter for the U.S. State Department Language Services.

He earned an M.B.A. with Honors from the University of California, Berkeley, and a B.A. with Honors in Political Science from Miami University, Oxford, Ohio.