U.S. Secretary of the Commerce Department Wilbur Ross on Tuesday pledged to give fair treatment for Chinese investment in the United States as the Donald Trump administration stepped up efforts to promote foreign direct investment in the country.
In an address to hundreds of Chinese investors at a reception hosted by China General Chamber of Commerce - USA, Ross said he appreciated the large participation of Chinese delegation in the SelectUSA Investment Summit this year, saying it was "China's largest delegation ever" to the summit with 155 participants.
"Please let me know how to help you follow up with the opportunities you have uncovered during the course of this conference," Ross said, adding the Commerce Department will help Chinese investors navigate any potential problems with other federal, state, or local agencies.
"I hope that my fellow cabinet members and business tycoons who spoke at the conference have made it clear to you, that if you do invest here, you will be treated fairly and with respect," he said, promising that "the playing field will be totally level."
Chinese investors have warmed up to pouring money into the United States in recent years, hitting a record 46 billion U.S. dollars in 2016 alone, triple the amount seen in 2015 and a tenfold increase compared to just five years ago, according to a report jointly released by the Rhodium Group and the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations (NCUSCR).
Ross said the relationship between the Chinese government and the U.S. government has become "very closely and very friendly" since Chinese President Xi Jinping and U.S. President Donald Trump met at the Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida in April.
"I believe that they like and trust each other, and that's a wonderful foundation for doing business, and diplomatic and other relationships between the two countries," he said, noting the two sides were able to announce concrete cooperative agreements in agricultural trade, electronic payment, energy and financial services just 40 days after the Xi-Trump meeting.
"These agreements have led to even more collaboration, and our two teams continue to hold twice daily phone calls," Ross said, believing the two countries will seek further agreements that benefit both countries.
"Both countries are very much interested in concrete near-term deliverables, not endless discussions," he said.
Zhu Hong, minister for commercial affairs at the Chinese embassy in the United States, said the initial results of the China-U.S. 100-day action plan set off to a good start for strengthening bilateral economic cooperation.
He believed the first bilateral comprehensive economic dialogue next month will bring more tangible benefits to the business communities and peoples in both countries.
Initiated by the Obama administration, the SelectUSA Investment Summit is the highest-profile event dedicated to promoting foreign direct investment in the United States. This year's summit, scheduled from Sunday to Tuesday, attracted around 3,000 participants from more than 60 international markets.