AmCham China, the American Chamber of Commerce in China, released its annual report on the business climate for US firms operating in China. AmCham finds the current conditions exceptionally challenging for firms: political tensions between the US and China have increased over the past year, China's economic growth has slowed, and the investment climate has deteriorated. AmCham estimates that the pace of reform and opening up of China to the outside world have slowed. In addition, domestic firms are being supported by several government programmes, eroding foreign firms' room to operate.
AmCham said that all parties benefit when trade is as free as possible, business is based on market principles and firms have easy access to markets. The Chamber of Commerce hopes that China would open its markets even more to foreign entities and move ahead with talks on bilateral investment treaty. The report noted that US firms see China's unclear laws and inconsistent regulatory interpretations as one of the largest challenges facing US firms. AmCham proposes improving the situation through better information distribution on e.g. court rulings and official investigation reports, as well as clarification of customs and tax regulations. It also noted room for improvement in allowing firms to comment on draft legislation and regulations.