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Trade Tensions Dampen Business Mood
High import tariffs are a major concern for Chinese companies in the U.S.
By Yu Shujun | Web Exclusive

A survey conducted by the China General Chamber of Commerce-USA (CGCC) released on June 20 showed that 44 percent of member companies that responded see a deterioration in China-U.S. economic and trade relations in 2018 and the same percentage believe that a stable and healthy relationship between the two countries is extremely important to their success in the United States.

Participants were especially concerned with high tariffs on imports (60 percent) and the prospect of tighter senior executive work visa and immigration policies (63 percent).

Among Chinese executives in the United States, there were also worries about the tone and temperament of U.S.-China relations. More than 40 percent of respondents expressed concerns about U.S. accusations of China's intellectual property theft, information theft or cyber attacks, while 26 percent were concerned about the nativist "Buy American, Hire American" rhetoric.

The most recent escalation of trade tensions between China and the United States is not reflected in the annual survey since it was conducted in March, the fifth of its kind.

"It is clear that the U.S.-China relationship is facing incremental challenges and perhaps even roadblocks for further development and cooperation," said Xu Chen, CGCC Chairman and President of Bank of China USA, in his message on the report, adding, "Our survey confirms that Chinese enterprises are committed to long-term goals in supporting growth in the U.S."

The survey also showed that nearly 60 percent of companies said the headcount of their workforce rose in 2017 and the same percentage expects to increase their workforce in the next two years, with two thirds anticipating an increase of at least 10 percent.

As the largest non-profit organization representing Chinese enterprises in the United States, CGCC has 1,500 member companies, which have collectively invested over $120 billion and employ more than 200,000 people throughout the country.

(Reporting from the New York City)

Copyedited by Rebeca Toledo

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