China’s rebalancing to a more consumption-driven economy presents opportunities for U.S. companies in the e-commerce, logistics, and financial services sectors. At the same time, U.S. service industries operating in and exporting to China continue to face significant market access challenges, including informal bans on entry, caps on foreign equity, high capital requirements, and data localization policies. This hearing will examine recent developments in China’s e-commerce, logistics, and financial services sectors and identify opportunities and challenges for U.S. companies.
This hearing will investigate China’s relations with Northeast Asia (North Korea, South Korea, and Japan) and Continental Southeast Asia (Burma, Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia). Its investigation of issues in Northeast Asia will focus on the effect of tensions on the Korean Peninsula on China’s bilateral relationships and approach to the region as a whole. Its investigation of issues in Continental Southeast Asia will focus on China’s economic engagement with the region; regional countries’ response to China’s economic engagement; and China’s role in the security dynamics of the region.
Highlights of This Month’s Edition
• Bilateral trade: U.S. goods deficit with China in April 2017 increased 13.7 percent year-on-year due to robust growth in U.S. imports.
• Bilateral policy issues: The initial results of the U.S.-China 100-day action plan yield modest outcomes on agriculture, financial services, natural gas, and biotechnology; China’s cybersecurity law restricting overseas data flows goes into effect despite protests from foreign businesses; the Cybersecurity Administration of China prohibits foreign online news providers from operating in China through joint ventures.
• Policy trends in China’s economy: China’s banking regulator issues comprehensive guidelines for controlling risks surrounding shady wealth management products (WMPs); new restrictions have caused banks to unwind WMP investment, which has raised costs of borrowing in some markets; China holds May 2017 summit for its One Belt One Road initiative, pledging $124 billion in funding for infrastructure projects and industrial development in participating countries; China plans to invest in a new economic zone called Xiongan New Area.
• Sector focus – Beef: China promises to reopen its market to U.S. beef, but the lack of progress on Chinese poultry imports to the United States, use of growth-enhancing drugs in the feed of U.S. cattle, and lack of traceability of U.S. beef remain major hurdles to finalizing negotiations.
The U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission invites submission of proposals to provide a one-time unclassified report on supply chain vulnerabilities from China in U.S. federal information technology (IT) procurement. Electronic or hard-copy proposals must be received by 5:30PM (EST) on June 14, 2017.
China’s direct financial linkages with the United States have been growing but remain very modest when compared to the two countries’ trade linkages. Beijing has taken steps to gradually open its financial sector to foreign investors, but U.S. investors have displayed little interest since the reforms are happening as Chinese policymakers impose tighter restrictions on foreign currency conversions and outbound capital flows. Economic and financial developments in China can affect U.S. financial markets more substantially through indirect channels, as was evident in the reaction of U.S. equities to China’s stock market crashes in 2015 and 2016. More broadly, the impact of China’s slowing growth and economic reforms on trade, commodities demand, and investor confidence affects global financial markets, which in turn influence U.S. financial markets.
Highlights of this Month’s Edition
· Bilateral trade: The U.S. goods trade deficit with China rose 1.2 percent year-on-year in the first quarter of 2017; in services, the United States the U.S. trade surplus in China for 2016 hit an all-time high of $37.4 billion.
· Bilateral policy issues: At their first summit, Presidents Trump and Xi agree to reform a flagship bilateral dialogue and launch a 100-day plan for addressing economic and trade issues; the U.S. Treasury does not cite China as a currency manipulator and notes China’s intervention to strengthen its currency; the USTR calls China’s barriers to cloud computing incompatible with its WTO commitments, and identifies market access restrictions and domestic support for China’s agricultural sector; the United States challenges China at the WTO over its failure to fully report its subsidies and launches investigations to protect its domestic steel and aluminum industries.
· Quarterly review of China’s economy: China’s economy grew 6.9 percent year-on-year in the first quarter of 2017, fueled primarily by surging industrial activity, property investment, and credit growth.
The U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission was created by the United States Congress in October 2000 with the legislative mandate to monitor, investigate, and submit to Congress an annual report on the national security implications of the bilateral trade and economic relationship between the United States and the People’s Republic of China, and to provide recommendations, where appropriate, to Congress for legislative and administrative action.