AmCham-China Praises Obama, Hu's Emphasis on Economy and Climate
The American Chamber of Commerce in China (AmCham-China) announced it welcomed President Obama's emphasis on economic collaboration during his first presidential visit to China. While the president was in China, both Secretary Gary Locke and U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk addressed AmCham-China members, underscoring the importance the administration places on the role of business in the US-China bilateral relationship.
"We were pleased to hear Commerce Secretary Locke reaffirm the Obama administration's opposition to protectionism, a sentiment echoed by President Hu," said AmCham-China chairman John Watkins, Jr. "As the US and China continue to open their respective markets to trade and investment, the American business community in China will continue to play a constructive role in identifying and resolving challenges that may interfere with progress in fostering innovation and economic growth."
AmCham-China officials also emphasized that Obama's decision to visit China less than a year into his presidency demonstrates his understanding of building long-lasting ties.
"The world continues to look toward the U.S. and China to promote strong global economic growth and take the lead on climate change," AmCham-China president Michael Barbalas said. "President Obama's decision to come to China before the end of his first year in office speaks volumes about the value he places on the relationship with Beijing. We understood that this first trip to China was unlikely to yield major announcements, and we remain optimistic about the still-new relationship between the Obama administration and China. President Obama has set a solid foundation for progress and it is clear that the meetings with his Chinese counterparts were highly productive."
In addition to strong support for both countries' stated rejection of protectionism, AmCham-China also applauded the focus on U.S.-China collaboration in addressing climate change. During an address to AmCham-China members, a line by Secretary Locke on the need for U.S.-China cooperation on reducing carbon emissions drew the biggest applause, highlighting the importance of the issue for the American business community.
Obama's visit also included a memorandum of understanding signing ceremony between the U.S. and Chinese governments for the Energy Cooperation Program (ECP), a newly-created public-private partnership to develop clean energy sources.
"We are extremely encouraged that the U.S.and Chinese governments have placed such a high priority on climate change," said Watkins, who attended the signing ceremony. "Businesses understand clearly the opportunity to reduce CO2 emissions, create new good jobs in the U.S. and China and grow our businesses' profitably. Public-private partnerships like ECP demonstrate the power and benefits of businesses and our two governments working together to address big problems with innovative and practical solutions."
About The American Chamber of Commerce in the People's Republic of China:
AmCham-China is a Beijing-based, nonprofit organization representing the interests of some 2,500 companies and individuals doing business throughout China. Headquartered in Beijing, AmCham-China has chapters in Tianjin and Central China (Wuhan).
For more information on AmCham-China, visit www.amchamchina.org.