By Dow Jones Business News, September 25, 2013, 02:35:00 PM EDT
The U.S. Treasury Department isn't happy with China's restrictions on foreign investment and will press Beijing to
loosen its investment restrictions.
"We remain concerned about the country's significant restrictions on foreign investment and continue to urge our
Chinese counterparts to continue to reduce investment barriers," Marisa Lago, the assistant secretary for international
markets and development, said in an educational speech Wednesday at law firm Covington& Burling LLP in Washington. "We
will continue to press China to implement measures that show a greater openness to foreign investment."
The U.S. has invested far more in the Chinese economy than China's companies have put directly into the American
economy. Still, the U.S. business community has complained about firm limits on investing in certain key sectors.
The U.S. and China in July rekindled long-dormant talks on a bilateral investment treaty that may allay some concerns
about international deals. U.S. officials have touted China's willingness to negotiate a pact under the assumption that
all industries are open for investment except for those select industries actively identified as off-limits.
Despite concerns from some U.S. lawmakers, the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. this month completed its
review of the $4.7 billion purchase of U.S. pork giant Smithfield Foods Inc. by Shuanghui International Holdings.
"It is difficult to explain to Americans why Chinese companies should be allowed to wholly acquire a U.S. company when
U.S. companies are prohibited from wholly acquiring Chinese companies in many sectors," Ms. Lago said.
Write to William Mauldin at William.Mauldin@wsj.com
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