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Bilateral deal could defuse Sino-U.S. tension over Chinese M&A

November 26, 2016, Asia Times

Marney Cheek is quoted in an Asia Times article regarding the use of a bilateral investment treaty (BIT) to defuse Sino-U.S. tension over acquisitions. According to Cheek, “Successful negotiation of a U.S.-China BIT has never been more important.” She continues, “An agreement would provide legal certainty for foreign investors from both countries at a very uncertain time. With the threat of a trade war on the horizon, the BIT would pull in the opposite direction, showing a commitment on both sides to the core principles of open markets and nondiscrimination.”

Cheek notes that U.S. industry has strongly supported a U.S.-China BIT as a way to nix investment barriers and increase transparency. She says discrimination in favor of state-owned-enterprises “comes in many flavors in China,” and that an investment treaty would tamp down on what some see as a pervasive thumb on the scale for domestic Chinese companies.

“But the treaty is a two-way street,” Cheek adds. “Given the anti-China rhetoric in Washington right now on trade and investment issues, China should welcome a BIT that guarantees Chinese investors access to certain U.S. industry sectors and commits the U.S. to principles of nondiscrimination.”

 

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