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Economy | Time:Mar 26 2018 2:38PM
Business leaders express concerns over friction
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Business leaders in the San Francisco Bay Area gathered on Wednesday to send a clear message to the Trump administration: Adding trade friction to the bilateral relationship between the US and China won't help either one grow; the two sides should engage in conversation instead of confrontation.

At a reception jointly sponsored by the Chinese Consulate-General in San Francisco, the Asia Society and ChinaSF at the residence of Luo Linquan, China's consul-general in the city, around 100 representatives from US companies, think tanks and research organizations voiced their concerns over President Donald Trump initiating a possible trade war with China.

The US' most important foreign relationship right now is with China, Thilo Hanemann, research director at the Rhodium Group, said during a panel discussion at the reception. To alleviate tensions, the world's two largest economies need to strengthen communication, he added.

Xia Diya, a deputy director-general of the Ministry of Commerce, was in San Francisco on an international road show to promote the first-of-its-kind China International Import Expo to be held Nov 5-10 in Shanghai.

Holding the CIIE demonstrates China's commitment to further opening-up, Xia said.

"No other country has ever, like China, invited other countries to join the process of its development. This signifies our commitment to welcoming foreign trade."

Meanwhile, China will treat all businesses equally, ease market access for all and protect the rights and interests of all business partners, said Yang Yihang, commercial counselor at the Chinese Consulate-General in San Francisco.

Sean O'Hollaren, senior vice-president of the sports gear manufacturer Nike, which is headquartered in Beaverton, Oregon, said his state is "very trade-dependent", exporting agriculture products, electronics components and spirits and wines to the outside world.

China has become Oregon's biggest trader partner. The state exports about $6 billion worth of commodities and goods and trade with China has helped create more than 20,000 jobs in the state.

For Nike, a multinational brand valued at $29.6 billion in 2017, China has been a great partner since the country's opening-up, O'Hollaren said. "It's a unique market for us because it's a consumer market and it's also a manufacturing market. We have ... 6,000 employees in China and 60,000 stores in China," he said, adding business volume in China is about $4 billion, plus an additional $4 billion in export of products outside of China.

"When we grow in China, we also grow in the US. We are a US multinational. We add jobs here to facilitate (our) growth in China," he said, adding that trade friction is not a zero-sum game.

"When China prospers, it does not mean the US loses. That's not how it works. And adding trade friction to our trade relationship does not help either of us grow," he added.

Source: China Daily
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