Wed, 23 Jun 2021

BEIJING, China: A group representing U.S. business interests in China has demanded that China end what it calls its "implicit bias" against U.S. and foreign-made products.

"The government should abandon the use of implicit, unpublished, or internal guidance to replace U.S. or other foreign-made products/services with domestically made equivalents," the American Chamber of Commerce in China (AmCham), which represents 900 companies, stated in its annual white paper, as reported by Reuters.

"We feel that local officials are reacting to the levels of tension in the relationship (between the US and China) and just taking the safer path, which is to offer preference to domestic industry," Greg Gilligan, chairman of AmCham China, told the press this week.

American businesses have also voiced concern over the frequency of consumer boycotts in China, he added.

In March, after criticizing the use of forced labor in China, retailer H&M faced boycotts and the closing of stores.

While Beijing says it provides equal treatment to foreign and domestic companies, foreign businesses have long complained about limited market access, obscure regulations, and poor intellectual property protections in China.

Pointing to inconsistencies in China's enforcement of laws promising an equal playing field for foreign and domestic businesses, the AmCham paper called for sectors, such as cloud computing, to be opened to foreign companies.

The paper also called for greater communication and cooperation between the United States and China on issues surrounding climate change and public health.

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