On September 9, 2020, China General Chamber of Commerce – USA (CGCC) hosted a webinar themed “Decoding the New Normal in U.S.-China Relations: What Lies Ahead for Chinese Companies and What Are the Best Practices,” as part of its 2020 “The Path Forward” event series. Over 220 guests, including executives and representatives from CGCC member companies, governmental agencies, and non-profit organizations, joined the insightful conversation.
As the second event in “The Path Forward” series, the webinar highlighted key findings of CGCC’s 2020 Annual Business Survey Report and further explored the prospects of China-U.S. relations and their impacts on trade, investment, and business operations between the two countries.
Xu Chen, chairman of CGCC and president & CEO of Bank of China USA, delivered the opening remarks. “In a year marked by uncertainty and tumult, our survey demonstrates how much we value our relationships with the American consumers, labor force, and communities,” said Mr. Xu. He also highlighted that “it is our hope that we can weather this storm together, seek consensus, promote mutual respect, and build a brighter future as we climb our way out of this tragic pandemic and economic collapse.”
Following Mr. Xu’s opening remarks, distinguished guest speakers including former U.S. Ambassador to China and former U.S. Senator from Montana Max Baucus, Professor and Director of the Center for Sustainable Development at Columbia University and President of UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network Jeffrey Sachs, Partner of Mercury Washington D.C. and former Communications Director for President Donald J. Trump’s Transition Team Bryan Lanza, and PwC Intelligence – China Analysis Leader of PwC U.S. Craig Stronberg came together for an exciting panel discussion. Peter Reisman, co-chair of the CGCC Government and Public Relations Committee and managing director at Bank of China USA, moderated the event.
The panelists provided their unique perspectives on current tensions in the China-U.S. relationship and the future of the bilateral relationship. Ambassador Max Baucus believes that the tension between the two countries “will not last too long, because we need each other.” He also called for “more efforts to get engaged for a longer-term relationship with China.” Professor Jeffrey Sachs also advised American policymakers to “try to stabilize the relationship of the two giants,” emphasizing that “this [U.S.-China relationship] is an extraordinary relationship and it’s extraordinarily important for the world to take seriously.”
Regarding advice for Chinese companies investing in the U.S., Bryan Lanza advised Chinese tech companies to weigh the risk of entering the U.S. market. Craig Stronberg suggested Chinese investors think from the perspective of a U.S. regulator. “Regardless of what’s happening at the policy level, when it comes to the business communities from these economies, they do want to be in one of the others’ marketplaces, and they do have a voice,” Stronberg said.