Zoom webinar | Gary Biehn, Ron Bracalente, Amy Celico, Linda Mysliwy Conlin
Small and medium-sized enterprises have provided crucial ballast to the U.S.-China bilateral relationship for decades. While the Biden administration’s “foreign policy for the middle class” is a departure in tone from President Trump’s “America First” rhetoric, we have not yet seen substantive changes in China trade policy. With tariffs remaining in place and the path forward for SMEs uncertain, what does the future hold?
On June 10, 2021, the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations, in partnership with the World Trade Centers Association, hosted a webinar with Amy Celico of Albright Stonebridge, and Gary Biehn, Ron Bracalente, and Linda Mysliwy Conlin of the World Trade Center of Greater Philadelphia, as they discussed the prospects for U.S.-China economic and trade relations.
Below are five key takeaways from the presentation:
Amy Celico: The tariffs continue to intensify competition and contention between the United States and China, specifically on trade issues. While the tariffs are unlikely to be reduced or lifted soon, engagement from the Biden administration with its Chinese counterparts is a positive and important step forward.
Linda Conlin: China is the fifth largest export sales market for businesses in the Greater Philadelphia area. Retaliatory tariffs from China, in addition to increased shipping and commodity costs, are hurting U.S. businesses, pushing them to look at other markets.
Gary Biehn: People-to-people relationships are the foundation of U.S.-China business ties, and businesses are increasingly pursuing China as a marketplace. Businesses with existing ties in China will likely continue these relationships, but it is now challenging for new companies to enter the Chinese market.
Ron Bracalente: U.S. businesses have benefited from visiting China to meet with local clients and interact with and learn about the market. The business relationships that have been cultivated in China over the past decades are indispensable, with significant benefits and opportunities for both countries.
Amy Celico: The recent executive orders demonstrate a tough-on-China stance for trade and investment. While the Biden administration is still formulating its China policy, small and medium enterprises should speak up against policies that undermine their competitiveness.