China pressed by U.S. to reduce barriers for foreign business

Updated: 00:00 GMT, Jan 1, 1970 | Published: 07:24 GMT, Jun 7, 2016 |

Senior U.S. officials pressed China again on Tuesday (June 7) to reduce barriers for foreign businesses, saying concerns have grown due to a more complex regulatory environment.

Foreign business confidence has been impacted by regulatory and protectionist worries, following a series of government investigations targeting foreign companies and the roll-out of a national security law limiting the use of overseas technology.

U.S. business groups have also complained about new Chinese regulations they say favour local firms and make it more difficult to operate in China, as well as other laws related to national security.

“Concerns about the business climate have grown in recent years with foreign business confronting a more complex regulatory environment and questioning how welcome they are. Our two governments have a responsibility to foster conditions that facilitate continued and increased investment, trade and commercial cooperation,” U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew told Chinese and American businesses and officials in Beijing.

Secretary of State John Kerry, speaking at the same event, said that as the two economies become more intertwined in shared prosperity, they have more “skin in the game” to keep their economic relationship on an even keel.

“As we both experience the shared prosperity we have a little more skin in the game for both of us with respects to all the other aspects of a relationship. So we have to work on the intellectual property we have to work on transparency and accountability, we have to work on the certainty of the rules of the road,” Kerry said, adding that certainty was critical for business.

Barriers to investment in China should be removed as quickly as possible, he added.

China says it is committed to welcoming foreign companies to the country, the world’s second largest economy.