US President Barack Obama concluded a constructive three-day visit to China earlier today with announcements of new bilateral deals on a range of issues important to US companies doing business in China, including a significant change in visa policy, reduced tariffs for trade in information technology products, and new targets related to climate change.
China Market Intelligence
US governors are heading to China in increasing numbers to seek potential investors for public and private projects. Since 2009, US governors have led 58 trade missions to China, helping to usher in more than $34 billion in direct investment over the past five years.
Chinese President Xi Jinping announced in mid-June that officials in his administration will push forward an “energy revolution,” focused on reducing energy consumption, increasing energy supply, and improving energy efficiency.
China’s recent push to address its environmental concerns—in particular its rampant air pollution—has brought to the forefront an internal debate on how the country’s leaders will cut carbon emissions. Recent reports have indicated the likely expansion of carbon trading program in the near future, while a proposal for a carbon tax appears to have been temporarily shelved.
Amid a slowdown in China’s economy and tension between the United States and China on a variety of issues, US and Chinese negotiators are preparing for the upcoming sixth annual Strategic & Economic Dialogue (S&ED) taking place in Beijing in early July.
Rapidly increasing wages, high demand for qualified workers, and high turnover rates have made recruiting and retaining talent one of the top challenges multinational companies face in China year after year. But there’s another issue making employee recruitment and retention even more difficult: China’s air pollution.
As the US government prepares for upcoming negotiations at the Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED) in early July, separate discussions under the Joint Commission and Commerce and Trade (JCCT) framework are well underway.
China’s top legislative body recently approved long-awaited amendments to the country’s Environmental Protection Law (EPL) that expand local governments’ ability to impose fines and increase the number of organizations that can file public interest lawsuits.
In 2014, China’s agencies in charge of energy and the environment (E&E) are focused on implementing national policies to address air pollution, strengthen environmental protection regulation, diversify China’s energy mix, and improve regulatory efficiency, according to various agencies’ 2014 work plans (links to which are provided in the attached PDF).
Speaking at this year’s meeting of the National People’s Congress, Premier Li Keqiang urged Chinese policymakers to “declare war” on pollution as part of China’s transition to a more sustainable economic model.