U.S. business leaders say a strong trade relationship with China will create American jobs and U.S. companies can benefit from the huge Chinese market.
"Having an appropriate relationship and a strong trade relationship with China is about American jobs," said Ellen Kullman, former chair and CEO of DuPont, one of the largest chemical companies in the world.
Kullman made the remarks Wednesday at an event organized by the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations that has invited global business leaders to talk about the efforts to strengthen China-U.S. relations in the business field.
With the bilateral investment treaty between the two countries under discussion, the speakers all agreed on the importance of bilateral trade.
It is not a panacea, said Kullman, but it would help.
"I think that anything that establishes that kind of reciprocity is going to be very enabling," she said.
The energy of the Chinese economy is still there, the business leaders agree, despite a slowdown in its growth rate. They all hold a positive view about investment in China.
"I've been there twice in the last four months. I don't feel any difference now than 33 years ago," said Peter Cohen, chairman and CEO of Cowen Group, a financial services company that has had dealings with the Chinese market since 1984.
As the CEO of the multinational pharmaceutical company Sanofi, Olivier Brandicourt also sees an opportunity in the Chinese health care market.
Brandicourt noticed a 50 percent growth in China's health care budget this year, and thus a huge potential in the corresponding market.
"It tells you how serious the Chinese government is about its health care reform," the pharmaceutical industry leader said.