Heading into 2016, some expected a sharp decline in China’s economic growth. So far, China has avoided a hard landing and continues to meet its modified growth targets, but the slowdown is clearly real. As China adjusts to its “new normal,” business leaders remain anxious about the long term prospects of the world’s second largest economy. Slowing growth has reduced American corporate profits, but China is still the most attractive emerging market in the world, and most companies have decided to stay. The US-China Business Council’s (USCBC) Annual Membership Survey captures how American companies view the changing business environment and are responding to this challenge. The survey’s data reveals the difficult position of American business leaders operating in China. While nearly 20 percent of respondents expect their revenue to decline in the coming year, 90 percent say their business remains profitable and that China continues to be a priority market. On October 20, 2016, USCBC President John Frisbie presented the survey’s key findings, in a discussion with National Committee President Stephen Orlins.
John Frisbie, president of the USCBC since 2004, has 30 years of experience in business and government relations with China, including nearly 10 years living and working in Beijing. His China background includes mergers and acquisitions, commercial negotiations, operating best practices and execution, strategy development, trade and investment consulting, policy analysis and advocacy, U.S. and PRC government relations, and media relations. He has spoken at numerous conferences and events; written articles for the China Business Review, USCBC’s digital magazine; and has been published in other outlets such as the Financial Times, Current History, and the Journal of Commerce. He has also been extensively quoted in articles in The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The New York Times, and Caixin, among other publications. The National Committee on U.S.-China Relations is the leading nonprofit nonpartisan organization that encourages understanding of China and the United States among citizens of both countries.