Date
26 July 2017
President Barack Obama and Chinese leader Xi Jinping are shown in their 2013 informal summit in Sunnylands, California. Xi's upcoming visit to the US is crucial to a planned bilateral investment treaty. Photo: BBC
President Barack Obama and Chinese leader Xi Jinping are shown in their 2013 informal summit in Sunnylands, California. Xi's upcoming visit to the US is crucial to a planned bilateral investment treaty. Photo: BBC

China, US exchange new offers on investment pact

China is in talks with the United States to reduce the scope of so-called negative lists of sectors closed to each other’s investors.

The two sides have exchanged revised offers regarding such restrictions in a proposed investment treaty, Reuters reports, citing a senior US trade official.   

China has more restrictions on foreign investment than the US.

Business groups are hoping for news on a bilateral investment treaty (BIT) during President Xi Jinping’s visit to the US, scheduled to start on the West Coast next Monday and include talks with President Barack Obama later in the week.

“The United States continues to review China’s revised negative list and assess the next steps in the negotiations,” a spokeswoman for the US Trade Representative said.

China complains that the US has singled out Chinese investors for national security reviews.

On Tuesday, a group of 94 chief executives of some of America’s biggest firms signed a letter to Xi and Obama calling for the rapid conclusion of “a meaningful and high-standard” bilateral investment treaty.

“A high-standard BIT — with clear provisions providing equal treatment to each country’s investors and a short list of exceptions — is one of the key items that could make an immediate and tangible impact for both of our economies,” they said.

They included Tim Cook of Apple, Warren Buffett of Berkshire Hathaway, Rex Tillerson of ExxonMobil, Jeffrey Immelt of General Electric, Muhtar Kent of Coca Cola, Mark Fields of Ford, Doug McMillon of Walmart and Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook.

US investors hope that a treaty will give them increased access to China’s many state-dominated industries, from financial services to telecommunications.

Last month, the American Chamber of Commerce in China said turmoil in China’s stock markets should encourage Beijing to open the economy more quickly to foreign services companies, including banks, and that it hoped to see progress during Xi’s visit.

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CG/RA

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