Larsen, LaHood Return from U.S.-China Working Group Trip to China

Mar 29, 2019

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Congressmen Rick Larsen (D-WA) and Darin LaHood (R-IL), co-chairs of the U.S.-Working Group (USCWG), led a bipartisan Congressional delegation trip to China over the last week. The six-member delegation returned to Washington this week after traveling to Hong Kong, Beijing, and Hangzhou to engage with high-level Chinese and U.S. officials, as well as American businesses operating in China. Upon returning from the trip, they released the following statements.

“I created the US-China Working Group to provide Members an opportunity to learn more about and discuss issues regarding China and the US-China relationship,” said Rep. Larsen. “As a representative from Washington state, I am particularly concerned with the current trade discussions because the largest number of exports from the state go to China. Forty percent of jobs in the state depend on trade. In Snohomish County, where I was born and raised, 60 percent of all jobs are tied to trade.”

“It’s essential we continue to engage with the Chinese on important trade issues and the U.S.-China Working Group trip allowed our delegation to enhance areas of cooperation between our two countries,” stated Rep. LaHood. “The trip presented us with the opportunity to emphasize continued communication between our two countries as ongoing trade talks resume this week and we stressed the need for the Chinese to abide by international norms, particularly when it comes to trade practices and the flow of fentanyl. As China continues to expand their influence around the globe, our two countries must continue dialogue and this trip took important steps towards strengthening that relationship.”

During the first stop in Hong Kong, the delegation met with Hong Kong Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Edward Yau, the U.S. Consul General Kurt Tong, and the American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong to discuss the current business climate for American businesses operating in Hong Kong and ongoing commercial exchanges.

In addition, the delegation met with Carrie Lam, the Chief Executive of Hong Kong, who is the most senior elected official in Hong Kong as well as numerous members of the Legislature in Hong Kong.

In Hanghzou, the delegation met with executives at Walt Disney, Boeing, Changan Ford Motor Company, and Wanxiang Group to hear about challenges facing American firms doing business in China. The group also toured the Alibaba headquarters.

On the delegations travels to Beijing, they engaged with high-level officials including, Li Zhanshu, Chairman of the National People’s Congress, Wang Chen, the Vice Chairman of the National People’s Congress, and Wang Qishan, Vice President of the People’s Republic of China. During these meetings, the group discussed issues of critical importance and ways we can continue to enhance cooperation.

Lastly, the delegation met with U.S. Ambassador to China, Terry Branstad, and the American Chamber of Commerce China to discuss the business climate in China and ongoing trade negotiations between our two countries.

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