By: Rhett Buttle
As the global landscape has faced unprecedented pressures, the Biden Administration has been squarely focused on protecting American interest at home and abroad. Even so, the Administration recognizes the ongoing need for the two worlds largest economies to have open dialogue and engagement where they can. As such, Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo traveled to the People’s Republic of China last week to promote U.S. manufacturing, along with economic and commercial interests while also strengthening the protection of U.S. national security. Guided by President Biden’s directive after his meeting with President Xi Jinping late last year, the Secretary met with senior Chinese leaders last week on national security and economics, improving bilateral communication between the two nations, and defending American businesses and workers.
Here are three takeaways why this engagement is important for business.
1. Commercial Issues Working Group
The imbalance of the United States $700 billion trade relationship with China has long been a concern for U.S. businesses. The Secretary agreed to create a new commercial issues working group with China to solve investment and trade issues, while ensuring the continued advancement of U.S. interests. Made up of public and private sector leaders from both nations, this group will meet biannually to improve relationships and economic growth opportunities. The U.S. will host the first meeting in 2024.
For many businesses on Main Street, like those dependent upon international supply chains or trade agreements, this working group is a step in the right direction towards creating solutions for trade issues when they arise as well as cultivating a relationship that continues to allow U.S. economic interests to thrive. This is also an investment in greater communication between the two nations that will allow American business to expand.
2. Strengthening Protections and Encouraging Communications
Both countries have agreed to include subject matter experts in discussions as administrative licensing proceedings take place between the U.S. and China, especially around sensitive business information and trade secrets. This creates an opportunity for the American business community to not only be protected from potential threats, but have their concerns proactively raised by technical experts committed to their best interests.
3. Export Control Enforcement Information Exchange
To better communicate U.S. National Security interests to China, agreement was reached to create the Export Control Enforcement Information Exchange platform to mitigate misunderstandings and ensure continued clarity of U.S. national security expectations. For American businesses, this will help protect and secure their interests abroad through expanded national security efforts. The first meeting has already been held in Beijing.
In an interview with CNBC’s Jim Cramer last week, Secretary Raimondo said, “Not decoupling our economy is critical, not just for our economy but for our national security. We have to do business where we can, communicate and have dialogue where we can, and never compromise our national security.” Her trip is a step forward in fulfilling those goals, as well as bolstering American trade, economic, and commercial interests.