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'China's Got To Realize The Gig's Up'

February 2, 2017
James McGregor
AmCham China

James McGregor is being interviewed by Sheryl WuDunn at a CHINADebate event in Washington, D.C.

'One of the problems in the U.S. is we're always worried about the relationship. Let's make China worry about the relationship for a while. China's got to realize the gig's up, that they had a really good run, and that now it's going to be reciprocity. It's going to be fairness. If they want to do business with America and Americans, then they've got to open their markets the way we have.'

[Interview] James McGregor

AmCham China & CHINADebate U.S.—China Trade/Business Series 2017
  • Chairman, APCO Worldwide Greater China region 
  • former Chairman of AmCham China (1996)

James McGregor is being interviewed by Sheryl WuDunn—executive, best-selling author, and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist. The interview took place after a CHINADebate event at the Cosmos Club in Washington, D.C., where Sheryl moderated a panel consisting of the President of the American Chamber of Commerce in China and several of the past presidents, including Jim McGregor.

Jim McGregor is not only a long-time China business leader, he is also one of the pre-eminent China experts.

Candidate Trump was tough on China. President Trump, well, it's not clear. After his meeting with President Xi, he seemed to soften his stance in hopes of getting China's help with the North Korea nuclear program. Recently, however, he tweeted: 'While I greatly appreciate the efforts of President Xi & China to help with North Korea, it has not worked out. At least I know China tried!' Will the President now revert to form? Stay tuned.

For Jim McGregor's part, he counsels rebalancing the U.S.-China relationship...

One of the problems in the U.S. is we're always worried about the relationship. Let's make China worry about the relationship for a while. China's got to realize the gig's up, that they had a really good run, and that now it's going to be reciprocity. It's going to be fairness. If they want to do business with America and Americans, then they've got to open their markets the way we have.

If this sounds Candidate Trumpian, I should say that long before Mr. Trump came down the escalator to announce his candidacy, many long-time China folks believed that China was gaming the system and taking advantage of not only of the U.S. but also the rest of the developed world. And, that tough changes are long overdue. Amen to Jim McGregor.

So, while I agree with Jim's assessment, I also agree with his warning... 

If we don't go in there with smart policies, then there's going to be hell to pay because China is very smart and strategic, and they know what they want.
It's a complicated intertwined world of global supply chains, and we have to be very strategic and smart in the way we handle this.
So far, stirring things up is good, but, boy, we've thrown everything up in the air. If we don't bring it back down in a smart fashion, this could lead to a tit for tat trade war that neither one needs, wants, or could afford.
What we've seen so far from the Trump administration does not give a lot of confidence. Not long ago, I said to a conference in Hong Kong, 'My get tough with China agenda is finally on the table, and it looks as if the administration charged with implementing it may be filled with bunglers.' I am certainly hoping to be convinced otherwise.
AmCham China

AmCham China

The American Chamber of Commerce in the People's Republic of China is a non-profit, non-governmental organization whose membership comprises more than 3,300 individuals from 900 companies operating across China. The chamber's nationwide mission is to help American companies succeed in China through advocacy, information, networking and business support services. AmCham China is the only officially recognized chamber of commerce representing American business in mainland China. With offices in Beijing, Tianjin, Dalian, Shenyang and Wuhan, AmCham China has more than 50 working groups, and holds more than 250 events each year.

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AmCham China

'China's Got To Realize The Gig's Up'

'China's Got To Realize The Gig's Up'

James McGregor is being interviewed by Sheryl WuDunn at a CHINADebate event in Washington, D.C.

'One of the problems in the U.S. is we're always worried about the relationship. Let's make China worry about the relationship for a while. China's got to realize the gig's up, that they had a really good run, and that now it's going to be reciprocity. It's going to be fairness. If they want to do business with America and Americans, then they've got to open their markets the way we have.'

AmCham China Chairmen's View From China in D.C. 2017

AmCham China Chairmen's View From China in D.C. 2017

1. Meet the AmCham China Chairmen

2. 'U.S. companies feel less welcome in China.'

3. 'On trade, reciprocity should rule.'

4. Trade & Innovation

5. Open China’s Markets to U.S. Business

6. ‘Is Jack Ma right, will e-commerce create U.S. jobs?’

  • [Q&A] Dennis Wilder, Georgetown University, Assistant Professor of Practice & Senior Fellow at the Initiative for US-China Dialogue on Global Issues

7. ‘Has China decided Foreign Direct Investment isn't so important for them?’

  • [Q&A] Pieter Bottelier, Visiting Scholar, School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University (SAIS)

8. ‘How do we solve the problems between the U.S. and China?’

  • [Q&A] Christine Vick, The Cohen Group

9. What's the most pressing challenge now? 

  • [Interview] Bill Zarit, Chairman of AmCham China, Senior Counselor, The Cohen Group

10. 'China's Got To Realize The Gig's Up' 

  • [Interview] James McGregor, Chairman, APCO Worldwide Greater China region | former Chairman of AmCham China (1996)

11. 'Re-look WTO agreements with China.'

  • [Interview] Dennis Wilder, Georgetown University, Assistant Professor of Practice & Senior Fellow at the Initiative for US-China Dialogue on Global Issues

12. ‘Biosciences, healthcare, consumer, all opportunities.’ 

  • [Interview] John Watkins, Former Chairman of AmCham China (2009 – 2010) and senior business executive] 

13. 'China: explain why markets not open.'

  • [Interview] Lester Ross, Wilmer Hale, Partner-in-Charge, Beijing Office
James McGregor

James McGregor

AmCham China
AmCham China

AmCham China

The American Chamber of Commerce in the People's Republic of China is a non-profit, non-governmental organization whose membership comprises more than 3,300 individuals from 900 companies operating across China. The chamber's nationwide mission is to help American companies succeed in China through advocacy, information, networking and business support services. AmCham China is the only officially recognized chamber of commerce representing American business in mainland China. With offices in Beijing, Tianjin, Dalian, Shenyang and Wuhan, AmCham China has more than 50 working groups, and holds more than 250 events each year.

Channels

AsiaStrat
Granite Peak Advisory
Track Research
Trivium China
Gao Feng
Real Estate Foresight
China Beige Book
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