On August 12th, 2020, over 200 American and Chinese company executives, including representatives from the U.S.-China Business Council (USCBC) and the American Chamber of Commerce in China (AmCham China), joined China General Chamber of Commerce (CGCC) – USA’s Path Forward webinar series titled, “Perspectives on the U.S.-China Bilateral Dynamic and Its Impact on Business, Trade & Investment,” wherein CGCC-USA released its 2020 Annual Business Survey report.
The CGCC 2020 Annual Business Survey on Chinese Enterprises in the U.S. , which has been conducted for the past seven years, is one of the most significant survey reports that synthesizes Chinese companies’ opinions about, and performances in, the American market.” Peter Reisman, Co-Chair of the CGCC Government and Public Relations Committee, and Managing Director at Bank of China USA, commented on the report and moderated the launch event this year.
CGCC Vice Chairman, Chairman of CGCC-DC Chapter, and China Telecom (Americas) Corporation President, Xu Tan delivered the welcoming remarks. Mr. Tan highlighted the “incredible optimism and resilience” demonstrated by Chinese companies in the last year. “Despite the myriad of challenges,” said Mr. Tan, “…over 95% of respondents assert they will continue operating in the U.S., while nearly 70% of them will stick to their investment plans.”
The survey report this year, as presented by Abby Li, Director of Research and Analysis at CGCC, highlighted the challenges Chinese enterprises have been facing due to the ever-escalating business and trade restrictions in the U.S., as well as companies’ strategic moves of adapting to the new normal of U.S.-China relations. The results of a mini-survey supplementing the annual research captured CGCC member companies’ standings and responses to COVID-19 and how they have been impacted by the anti-China rhetoric and fraying between the two countries during the unexpected pandemic. The survey launch was followed by a spirited panel discussion on the trends and trajectories of U.S.-China economic relations.
The distinguished panel included U.S.-China Business Council (USBC) President Craig Allen, American Chamber of Commerce in China (AmCham China) Chairman, Senior Counselor at The Cohen Group, William Zarit, CGCC Vice Chairman, Chairman of CGCC-Chicago, and Wanxiang America Corporation President Pin Ni and Lennar International President Chris Marlin. The panel called for the return of free-market principles and the rule of law in U.S.-China business interactions. Craig Allen pointed out that it is “a very negative trend that we need to defend ourselves against,” adding that both sides should work on building up mutual trust, “It is certainly something that we can achieve together.” Panelist William Zarit also emphasized that the China-U.S. relationship needs to be recalibrated. “Let business be business, geopolitical issues are too heavy for business to carry,” said Ni Pin, “Let business become the stabilizer for the (China-U.S.) relationship.” Panelist Chris Marlin also stated that the United States should recalibrate the policy of rule of law and that U.S. laws target certain kinds of countries and actors in a way that may appear to others as discriminatory.
CGCC extends great appreciation to all the panelists and participants. We also extend special thanks to the CGCC-D.C. team for successfully co-leading this webinar.