Janet Yellen

Opening Remarks at Roundtable Discussion with U.S. Businesses Operating in the People’s Republic of China

delivered 7 July 2023, Beijing, China

Audio mp3 of Address       Audio AR-XE mp3 of Address


[AUTHENTICITY CERTIFIED: Text version below transcribed directly from audio]

Thank you very much, Michael [Hart]. Thank you Ambassador [R. Nicholas] Burns and thanks to all of you for joining me today. It's great to see you.

I'm here in Beijing to carry forward President Biden’s directive from his meeting with President Xi last November1 to deepen our communications with China, including on economic issues.

We believe that it's in the best interests of both countries to make sure we have direct and clear lines of communication at senior levels. In the economic realm, regular exchanges with our Chinese counterparts can help us monitor economic and financial risks, and it can help create the conditions for a healthy economic relationship between our two countries.

I believe that’s particularly important right now as the global economy faces headwinds like Russia’s illegal war in Ukraine and the lingering effects of the pandemic.

During this trip, I'm discussing with Chinese officials our respective economic outlooks.

As I said in my speech in April, the U.S. seeks healthy economic competition with China. But healthy economic competition -- where both sides benefit -- is only sustainable if that competition is fair.

During meetings with my counterparts, I'm communicating the concerns that I’ve heard from the U.S. business community -- including China’s use of non-market tools2 like expanded subsidies for its state-owned enterprises and domestic firms, as well as barriers to market access for foreign firms. I’ve been particularly troubled by punitive actions that have been taken against U.S. firms in recent months.

I'm also concerned about new export controls recently announced by China on two critical minerals [gallium and germanium] used in technologies like semiconductors. We're still evaluating the impact of these actions, but they remind us of the importance of building resilient and diversified supply chains.

Our economic relationship with China must work for American businesses and American workers. I will always champion your interests and work to make sure there is a level playing field. This includes coordinating with our allies to respond to China’s unfair economic practices.

I also think that a shift toward market reforms would be in China’s interests. A market-based approach helped spur rapid growth in China and helped lift hundreds of millions of people out of poverty. It is a remarkable economic success story.

Many of your firms understand how a level playing field can benefit both of our economies. China has an enormous and growing middle-class, with consumers who are eager to consume American goods and services.

I've made clear that the United States does not seek a wholesale separation of our economies. We seek to diversify and not to decouple. A decoupling of the world’s two largest economies would be destabilizing for the global economy, and it would be virtually impossible to undertake.

I also made clear that actions we take to protect our national security are designed to be narrowly targeted -- and that they are premised on straightforward national security considerations. They're not undertaken to gain economic advantage over China.

In fact, trade between our two countries reached an all-time high last year. And if it is fair, trade and investment can support American jobs at home and promote American innovation. A stable and constructive relationship between the U.S. and China is in the interests of American workers and businesses.

So, I'm look forward to hearing from you today about your plans in China, as well as how China’s policies and practices are impacting your business operations.

Thank you. I look forward to a good discussion.

1 14 November meeting transcript includes President Xi Jinping's remarks as translated

2 As described by U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo: "Over the past decade, China’s leaders have made clear that they do not plan to pursue political and economic reform and are instead pursuing an alternative vision of their country’s future. They are committed to increasing the role of the state in society and the economy, constraining the free flow of capital and information, and decoupling economically in a number of areas, including many technology sectors of the future. They have firewalled their data economy from the rest of the world. And they are accelerating their efforts to fuse their economic and technology policies with their military ambitions. As China’s economy has grown in size and influence, so too has its commitment to using non-market trade and investment practices in ways that are forcing us to defend our businesses and workers – and those of our allies and partners. China’s reprioritization away from economic growth toward national security and its assertive military behavior means that we have to rethink how we protect our national security interests while also promoting our interests in trade and investment." [Source: https://www.commerce.gov/news/speeches/2022/11/remarks-us-secretary-commerce-gina-raimondo-us-competitiveness-and-china]

Original Text Source: treasury.gov

Audio Source: YouTube

Text Note: Supplemental transcription work by Michael E. Eidenmuller

Page Updated: 7/8/23

U.S. Copyright Status: Text = Property of AmericanRhetoric.com. Audio = Fair Use.

Top 100 American Speeches

Online Speech Bank

Movie Speeches

© Copyright 2001-Present. 
American Rhetoric.