US Commerce head to meet with CEOs after China trip -sources

By David Shepardson

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo expected to meet with the chief executives of major American companies this week, two weeks after a trip to China where she raised concerns about business conditions, sources told Reuters.

Raimondo was to address the Business Roundtable, an association of more than 200 CEOs of major U.s. firms, in Washington on Thursday. She said last month she had spoken to more than 100 U.S. company CEOs ahead of her trip to China about difficulties doing business there.

The Commerce Department did not immediately comment.

Raimondo in China talked up American companies’ desire to do business in China and her hopes for further engagement with Chinese officials on market access.

On Aug. 30 in Shanghai, Raimondo said she hoped to “see some results” in the next few months as a result of her four-day visit to Beijing and Shanghai.

“There is appetite among U.S. business to continue to do business” in China, she said. “U.S. businesses want to do business here but they need to have a predictable regulatory environment.”

Earlier, Raimondo said American companies had complained to her that China has become “uninvestible,” pointing to fines, raids and other actions that made it risky to do business in the world’s second-largest economy.

Wrapping up her trip she said: “For U.S. business in many cases patience is running thin and it’s time for action.”

Raimondo said U.S. companies faced new challenges, among them “exorbitant fines without any explanation, revisions to the counterespionage law, which are unclear and sending shockwaves through the U.S. community; raids on businesses – a whole new level of challenge and we need that to be addressed.”

(Reporting by David Shepardson; editing by Jonathan Oatis and David Gregorio)