You are hereWashington Post: American chamber says China’s focus on local industry is hurting U.S. businesses

Washington Post: American chamber says China’s focus on local industry is hurting U.S. businesses


(Chamber Complains It Can't Outsource Enough Jobs To China- CD)

April 26, 2011- China’s efforts to promote local industries are undercutting American competition here, U.S. business officials said Tuesday as they questioned the nation’s commitment to fully opening its economy.

In its annual report on the U.S. business climate, the American Chamber of Commerce in China said a collection of rules, standards and other requirements under China’s “indigenous innovation” policy were starting to hamper the ability of outside technology firms to operate.

As the nation has intensified government protection of and support for designated industries, the policies have raised doubts “about the depth of commitment of China’s leadership to reform, of completing the transition” to more open markets, said chamber President Christian Murck.

U.S. business and political leaders have repeatedly criticized China’s new push to advance its local technology companies, citing the importance of giving American firms freer access to China’s vast market. China has become a top destination for U.S. exports, and success there is a central aim of major corporations.

There is a growing acknowledgment, however, that the economic access that has boosted China’s growth over the past 20 years — and opened the country to companies such as Wal-Mart and General Motors — has entered a new and, for the United States, more complicated phase.

U.S. officials worry that China, a decade after joining the World Trade Organization, may be intent on barring foreign ownership from key parts of its economy, including the financial sector, service industries and other areas where U.S. companies think they hold an advantage.

At the same time, strict regulations and state support are helping local Chinese businesses in technology, energy, aviation and other fields where the government hopes to establish Chinese leadership. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce argued in a recent report that those policies are “a blueprint for technology theft” and force foreign firms to either hand over their ideas and know-how or miss out on the growth of what is now the world’s second-largest economy.

The topic is likely to form a backdrop for the latest in a series of high-level talks between U.S. and Chinese officials to be held in Washington next month.

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