China, In Response To U.S.’s Raimondo, Says It Is Easing Market Access For Foreign Firms

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China’s embassy in Washington on Tuesday defended its business practices after U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said U.S. firms had told her that China had become “uninvestible.”

Asked to respond to the comments Raimondo made in China, embassy spokesperson Liu Pengyu said that most of the 70,000 U.S. firms doing business in China wanted to stay, that nearly 90% were profitable, and that Beijing was working to further ease market access for foreign companies.

“China is actively advancing its high-level opening-up and making efforts to provide a world-class, market-oriented business environment governed by a sound legal framework,” he said. “China will only open its doors even wider to the outside world.”

The Commerce Department declined to comment.

Raimondo said Tuesday U.S. companies have complained to her that China has become “uninvestible,” pointing to fines, raids and other actions that have made it risky to do business in the world’s second-largest economy.

The comments, made to reporters aboard a high-speed train as her delegation of U.S. officials headed from Beijing to Shanghai, provided a bleak picture of how American firms view China, and were the most blunt Raimondo has made on her trip.

“Increasingly I hear from American business that China is uninvestible because it’s become too risky,” she said.

Raimondo said American firms are facing new challenges, among them “exorbitant fines without any explanation, revisions to the counterespionage law, which are unclear and sending shockwaves through the U.S. community; raids on businesses – a whole new level of challenge and we need that to be addressed.”

Raimondo is in Shanghai for the last day of meetings before returning to the United States. She will visit Shanghai Disneyland, a joint venture of Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS) and Chinese state-owned Shendi Group, address a women’s business group and hold a news conference at a Boeing (NYSE:BA) facility in Shanghai.

She said there was “no rationale given” for Chinese actions against chipmaker Micron Technology (NASDAQ:MU), whose products were restricted by Beijing this year, and rejected any comparisons to U.S. export controls.

“There has been limited due process, and that’s why I brought it up,” she said. – Reuters

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