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US Commerce Secretary: US Companies Believe China Is No Longer a Viable Investment Option

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo stated that American companies have raised concerns about the increasing risks involved in doing business in China, causing China to become “uninvestable.” Raimondo made these remarks during her official visit to China while traveling from Beijing to Shanghai on August 29. She highlighted various factors contributing to the heightened risk, such as amendments to counterespionage laws, raids on foreign companies, and unclear regulations. These challenges are posing a whole new level of difficulty for American firms operating in China. One example she mentioned was the recent ban imposed by Beijing on American chipmaker Micron Technology, which lacked explanation and due process. Raimondo’s visit aims to strengthen economic ties between the two countries amidst concerns that the political tensions can further deteriorate and result in open hostilities. She also mentioned that the United States and China agreed to establish a working group on trade and investment issues, including export controls, in an effort to improve relations. However, this decision was criticized by House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Rep. Michael McCaul as “dangerous.” The American Chamber of Commerce in China highlighted the importance of continued trade and the Chinese government’s eagerness to engage with Raimondo, who holds responsibilities for both trade and export controls. Raimondo’s visit aimed to relay the Biden administration’s message that they are not seeking to decouple from China but rather maintain the $700 billion commercial relationship. However, Chinese Premier Li Qiang expressed hope that the U.S. can work together with China with sincerity and concrete actions. The two countries also planned their first “information exchange” on export controls, following President Biden’s executive order restricting investment in China’s sensitive technologies.

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