(New York, NY/Washington, DC, April 5, 2019) – Chinese and US company executives are cautiously optimistic on future prospects for their businesses, but have mixed views on whether commercial relations will return to where they were prior to current tensions. These sentiments come as negotiators from both countries continue work to reach an agreement addressing an array of trade issues that have strained bilateral relations and roiled world markets.
The executives also worried that the agreement would not address all of their major concerns and trade relations would follow a rocky path for the foreseeable future. Chinese executives were more optimistic than their American counterparts.
The CEO snap survey of top executives whose companies are committed to doing business in both the US and China was conducted by the US-China Business Council (USCBC) and the Committee of 100 (C100). USCBC represents American companies that do business with China. C100 is a non-profit US organization of prominent Chinese-American leaders advancing constructive dialogue between the world’s two largest economies.
USCBC President Craig Allen said the survey results reflect a mostly pragmatic outlook on the future trade relationship. “Businesses in both countries plan to stay engaged with most planning to maintain or increase investments,” he said. “However, a minority of US and Chinese companies are planning to curtail investments, believing that business conditions aren’t likely to improve enough.”
C100 Chairman H. Roger Wang, speaking from the 30th anniversary annual conference of C100 in New York City attended by over 600 top influencers in business, government and academia, noted the survey results indicate that more should be done to stabilize the business environment for American and Chinese companies. “The challenges for these companies in each other’s market are reflected in the survey outcomes. While Chinese companies are more confident that business will return to normal after an agreement, fewer are prioritizing the United States than their American counterparts are in their approach to China.”
- Over three-quarters of executives think that the ongoing negotiations will ultimately result in a partial agreement on trade issues.
- Most executives view frequent presidential summit meetings are imperative for US-China relations.
- Executives are almost evenly divided about prospects for “business as usual” returning after an agreement, with more Chinese than American executives expecting a return to the previous business environment.
- More American executives are prioritizing China’s market in the next five years compared to Chinese executives’ views of the US market. While 68 percent of CEOs said they will prioritize each other’s market, those not sharing that prioritization were all Chinese executives.
- Just over half of executives report that the trade war has not affected their ability to do business with partners in each other’s countries, but more Chinese executives than American reported such problems.
- Only 27 percent of respondents indicated their brands had been negatively affected by US-China tensions, but two-thirds of those who have been impacted were Chinese.
- Most companies indicated they will maintain or accelerate their investments in each other’s markets in the next year, but most who indicated they would curtail such investments were Chinese.
The Committee of 100 (C100) is a non-profit U.S. leadership organization of prominent and extraordinary Chinese Americans in business, government, academia, and the arts. Founded by world-renowned architect I.M. Pei and internationally acclaimed cellist Yo-Yo Ma, among others, it is an institution of U.S. citizens of Chinese heritage. For 30 years, C100 has served as a preeminent organization committed to the dual missions of promoting the full participation of Chinese Americans in all aspects of American life and constructive relations between the United States and Greater China. www.committee100.org
The US-China Business Council (USCBC) is a private, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization of approximately 200 American companies that do business with China. Founded in 1973, USCBC has provided unmatched information, advisory, advocacy, and program services to its members for over four decades. Through its offices in Washington, DC, Beijing, and Shanghai, USCBC is uniquely positioned to serve its members’ interests in the United States and China. www.uschina.org