For months, U.S. business lobbying groups have campaigned for the softening of harsh trade and finance regulations against China to maintain unwavering business ties and investment with the world’s second-largest economy. Still, U.S. corporations understand that they face an uphill battle against anti-Chinese sentiment from Congress and the Biden Administration.
While the lobbying groups agree that China’s human rights abuses are abhorrent, they remain concerned that the trade crackdown may hinder U.S. companies and the investments that they have already made in the world’s most populous country.
Not at the expense of commerce
Lobbying groups representing some of America’s biggest companies such as JPMorgan Chase and Amazon have been able to persuade lawmakers to stifle legislation aimed at requiring government reviews of U.S. investments in China, while including corporate-friendly conditions in an anti-forced labor bill.
However, these groups remain concerned – ahead of the fall legislative session – that the U.S. government’s tactics will lead American corporations to reduce their business interests and investment in China. Such actions would lead to harm on two fronts. First, it would diminish their business profits and shrink any leverage the U.S. may still have in getting China to pivot from its current human rights abuses.
The lobbying groups argue that America’s tougher approach to China could lead to increased tensions between the two countries, increased military friction and even potential armed conflict.
Once again, the main point made by the lobbying groups as well as progressive politicians is that China can be held accountable for its human rights record and trade issues, but without shutting down business and cooperation.
Any U.S. company or entrepreneur considering pursuing business interests in China should understand that the hostility between the two governments does not make for a good start. And take into consideration the concerns expressed by America’s largest corporations, too.