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Cutting Negatives for 2-way Investment

CCTV 2015-09-25

The world’s two biggest economies are aiming for a quality Bilateral Investment Treaty. Revising the so-called negative lists is a crucial part of the negotiations. How can those revisions help investors?

China's Focus Technology established a branch in Los Angeles last year. Its business to business online platform helps medium and small size Chinese companies find sales partners in the United States. The problem is, they don't know what they can sell. Company vice president Li Lijie says her team needed two years to prepare for their expansion in the US, because they're not clear on what technology products the US will allow them to sell, and what it won't.

Li’s company is not the only one hoping the United States would provide a more clear list. Starting in 2007, China telecoms giant Huawei had five plans to invest in the US denied by the United States. The U.S. House of Representatives released a report in 2012, saying doing business with Huawei could created a national security problem for the United States.

US companies have made similar requests for the Chinese government to clarify its own negative lists. Besides the benefits that revising the Chinese lists might bring to China, Song Guoyou, professor at Fudan University, says that to the United States, getting a shorter list from China would also be very important.

Since 2008 China and the US have had 20 negotiating sessions on the proposed Bilateral Investment Treaty. Song believes that successful conclusion of the treaty would help China and the United States to work more closely with each other.

The total volume of export and import trade between China and the United States was around 500 billion dollars last year, increasing by 6.4 percent from the previous year. US imports from China are now larger than US imports from any other country.