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    US Business Lobby Backs Biden China Efforts While Urging Caution

    The biggest US business lobby group urged Washington to take “targeted and responsible steps” to restrict Chinese access to sensitive technologies that could undermine national security, yet cautioned not to see all interactions as a threat. 

    “There is still a vast area of commercial opportunity where we can and should engage productively,” US Chamber of Commerce President Suzanne Clark said in a speech in Washington on Wednesday. “But perhaps most importantly, and I can’t underline this enough: If we treat every economic interaction as a risk, we will lose focus on those that truly pose a threat.”

    Both the Biden administration and Congress are undertaking an array of efforts to address China’s power and business practices, with tensions high between the world’s two largest economies. 

    The US has tried to limit Beijing’s access to high-end semiconductors and blacklisted Chinese companies for their ties to the military or over accusations that they use forced labor. Restrictions on American investment in China are also in the works. China characterizes those moves as protectionism. 

    While the chamber supports various actions to strengthen American national security — including export controls, technology restrictions, and scrutiny of outbound investment — many transactions between the nations “create opportunities for US small businesses, and improve the standard of living for millions of Americans,” Clark said. 

    The Biden administration has tried to emphasize that it isn’t pursuing a long-term rupture or “decoupling” of the US and Chinese economies. 

    National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said last month that the administration was working to “de-risk,” not “decouple,” from Beijing, while Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on April 20, said that “a full separation of our economies would be disastrous for both countries” and “destabilizing for the rest of the world.”

    Clark used her speech to reiterate the chamber’s concerns about China’s anti-espionage crackdown on consulting firms and evolving restrictions on Western accounting companies, saying these moves “have ratcheted up risk and uncertainty in the market.” 

    –With assistance from Ramsey Al-Rikabi, Peter Martin and Eric Martin.

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