By David Shepardson
BEIJING (Reuters) -U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said U.S. companies have complained to her that China has become “uninvestable”, pointing to fines, raids and other actions against firms that have made it too risky to do business in the world’s second largest economy.
The comments, made to reporters onboard a train as her delegation of U.S. officials headed from Beijing to Shanghai, provided a bleak picture of the how U.S. firms view China and were the bluntest Raimondo has made on her trip.
“Increasingly I hear from American business that China is uninvestable because it’s become too risky,” she said. “So businesses look for other opportunities, they look for other countries, they look for other places to go.”
Raimondo said that there was “no rationale given” for Chinese actions against chipmaker Micron Technology (NASDAQ: MU) , whose products were restricted by Beijing earlier this year and rejected any comparisons to U.S. export controls. “There has been limited due process and that’s why I brought it up.”
Earlier in the day she had said the United States wants to work with China to solve problems such as climate change and artificial intelligence, speaking with Chinese Premier Li Qiang at a meeting in Beijing on Tuesday.
Raimondo is the latest Biden administration official to visit China in a bid to strengthen communications, particularly on economy and defense, amid concerns that friction between the two superpowers could spiral out of control.
“There are other areas of global concern, such as climate change, artificial intelligence, the fentanyl crisis, where we want to work with you as two global powers to do what’s right for all of humanity,” Raimondo told Li at their meeting in the Great Hall of the People.