CEO Letter to President Obama on the Need for a High-Standard US-China Bilateral Investment Treaty

 

October 15, 2014
 
The Honorable Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500
 
Dear President Obama:
 
The commercial relationship between the United States and China is enormously important to our companies and the health of the American economy. Getting this commercial relationship right – by expanding the opportunities and effectively addressing the challenges – will help maintain American economic strength and leadership in the decades ahead.
 
Concluding a meaningful US-China Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) should be a top priority for your administration. We applaud your administration’s success in gaining agreement from China at the Strategic & Economic Dialogue two years ago to negotiate a BIT based on the American core principles. We further noted President Xi Jinping’s statement at this year’s Strategic & Economic Dialogue to negotiate with the United States a high-standard BIT as soon as possible, and appreciate the work you and your administration did to gain that pledge.
 
It is now time to move ahead to conclude the treaty text negotiations and begin work in early 2015 on ensuring China includes only a narrow list of excluded sectors (the “negative list”). Investment barriers are market access barriers, plain and simple. If China can significantly reduce its negative list and open markets to American manufacturers, agriculture producers, and service providers, you will find the business community fully engaged and supportive of your leadership to gain Senate approval of the treaty. 
 
We urge you to make the prioritization of a high-standard BIT between the United States and China a visible part of your visit to China in November and bilateral meeting with President Xi. There are few other commercial outcomes that would gain as much support from business leaders in both the United States and China. Passage of a high-standard US-China Bilateral Investment Treaty would have a significant and lasting impact on the trajectory of the US-China commercial relationship, and create a more equitable framework to guide the relationship forward.
 
Sincerely,
 
Miles D. White
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
Abbott 
 
Evan G. Greenberg
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
ACE Limited/ACE Group
 
Mark T. Bertolini
Chairman, CEO and President
Aetna
 
Klaus Kleinfeld
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
Alcoa
 
Steve Van Andel
Chairman
Amway Corporation
 
Michael R. Splinter
Executive Chairman
Applied Materials, Inc.
 
Patricia A. Woertz
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
Archer Daniels Midland Company
 
Patrick M. Prevost
President and Chief Executive Officer
Cabot Corporation
 
David MacLennan
President and Chief Executive Officer
Cargill Inc.
 
David Rubenstein
Co-Founder and Co-Chief Executive Officer
The Carlyle Group
 
Doug Oberhelman
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer 
Caterpillar Inc.
 
Mark C. Rohr
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
Celanese
 
Craig A. Rogerson
President, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board
Chemtura
 
Roberta Lipson
Chief Executive Officer and President
Chindex International, Inc.
 
David Cordani
President and Chief Executive Officer
Cigna
 
Michael Corbat
Chief Executive Officer
Citigroup, Inc.
 
Richard Tobin
Chief Executive Officer
CNH Industrial
 
Muhtar Kent
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
The Coca-Cola Company
 
The Honorable William S. Cohen
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
The Cohen Group
 
Michael S. Dell
Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer
Dell Inc.
 
Robert A. Iger
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
The Walt Disney Company
 
Andrew N. Liveris
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
The Dow Chemical Company 
 
Ellen Kullman
Chair of the Board and Chief Executive Officer
DuPont
 
Daniel R. Langdon
Chief Executive Officer
East Penn Manufacturing Co., Inc.
 
Doug Baker
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
Ecolab
 
David N. Farr
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
Emerson
 
Mark Fields
President and Chief Executive Officer
Ford Motor Company
 
Lloyd Blankfein
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
The Goldman Sachs Group Inc.
 
Ginni Rometty
Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer
IBM Corporation
 
Alex Gorsky
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
Johnson & Johnson
 
David H. Long
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
Liberty Mutual Insurance Group
 
David Holl
President and Chief Executive Officer
Mary Kay, Inc.
 
Harold McGraw, III
Chairman of the Board
McGraw Hill Financial
 
Thomas F. “Mack” McLarty
Chairman
McLarty Associates
 
P. Kasper Jakobsen
President and Chief Executive Officer
Mead Johnson Nutrition
 
John A. Luke, Jr.
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
MeadWestvaco Corporation
 
Kenneth C. Frazier
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
Merck & Co., Inc.
 
Raymond W. McDaniel
President and Chief Executive Officer
Moody’s Corporation
 
James P. Gorman
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
Morgan Stanley
 
Indra K. Nooyi
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
PepsiCo
 
Ian C. Read
Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer
Pfizer
 
Stephen F. Angel
Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer
Praxair, Inc.
 
A.G. Lafley
Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer
The Procter & Gamble Company
 
Marc N. Casper
President and Chief Executive Officer
Thermo Fisher Scientific
 
Richard G. Kyle
President and Chief Executive Officer
The Timken Company
 
John J. Haley
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
Towers Watson
 
George Oliver
Chief Executive Officer
Tyco International
 
Keith E. Williams
President and Chief Executive Officer
UL
 
Louis R. Chênevert
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
United Technologies Corporation
 
Doug McMillon
President and Chief Executive Officer
Walmart
 
Danny Roderick
President and Chief Executive Officer
Westinghouse Electric Company