U.S. probes of Chinese firms affect operations, hurt confidence: MOFCOM

2024-01-31 09:10:41Global Times Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

The U.S. side has repeatedly conducted surprise probes of Chinese-funded companies, disturbing Chinese businesses and businesspeople, seriously affecting normal business operations, and undermining the confidence of Chinese companies in investing in the U.S., a spokesperson of China's Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) said on Tuesday.

This remark was made in response to media reports that a Chinese-funded company's North American office had been subjected to on-site searches by relevant U.S. authorities.

The U.S. frequently conducts investigations under various security pretexts, broadening so-called security and political issues, and such moves will affect bilateral economic and trade ties and will eventually backfire on the U.S. economy and its own consumers,Chinese experts said.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security recently executed a search warrant at the Ohio-based U.S. subsidiary of Qingdao Sunsong, a Chinese automobile parts manufacturer that a congressional committee has accused of "trade fraud."

In another move, several U.S. lawmakers once again invoked so-called security concerns to launch a probe into the Swedish-Swiss multinational engineering giant ABB Group's operations in China, which experts said is a typical case of politicizing normal business activities by U.S. lawmakers.

The main investigation focuses on Shanghai Zhenhua Heavy Industries Co, with ABB becoming involved because it's a sub-supplier to the Chinese state-owned manufacturer of container cranes, Bloomberg reported on January 19, citing a letter from the U.S. Congress.

In responding to recent intensified ill-intended moves by the U.S., the MOFCOM spokesperson urged the U.S. to immediately cease its harassment of Chinese companies and businesspeople, and provide them with a safe, transparent and fair business environment.

China will closely monitor the situation and firmly safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese companies and citizens, the spokesperson noted.

Undoubtedly, this will affect foreign companies' confidence in the U.S. business environment, experts said. When Chinese companies do business with their American counterparts, they will surely have concerns, leading to the possible loss of cooperation opportunities for U.S. companies, Gao Lingyun, an expert at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times on Tuesday.

Moreover, experts said that the U.S. move will intensify its "decoupling" from China, as a vital trading partner, which will also result in higher commodity costs for U.S. consumers.

The core of the U.S. investigations is a type of trade protectionism. It is entirely unrelated to global resource allocation and the so-called security risks, but represents the politicization of normal economic activities, Hu Qimu, a deputy secretary-general of the digital-real economies integration Forum 50, told the Global Times in a previous interview.

This not only hinders the global economic recovery but also backfires on the development of American industries, Hu said.


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