February 14, 2012 / 6:24 PM / 6 years ago

CEOs to press Xi on investment, counterfeiting

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Corporate executives will press China’s expected next leader, Vice President Xi Jinping, on Tuesday to ease restrictions on American investment in China and to take stronger action to stop counterfeiting of U.S. goods, a U.S. industry official said.

John Frisbie, president of the U.S.-China Business Council, told Reuters he did not expect Xi to announce major policy changes during his visit this week to the United States, which includes stops in Iowa and California.

But corporate CEOs welcomed the chance to meet with Xi and U.S. Vice President Joe Biden on Tuesday and would be polite but firm about expressing their views, Frisbie said.

“We still feel there’s too many ownership restrictions for U.S. companies trying to penetrate the market. He’s also going to probably hear about intellectual property and the need to have a tougher deterrent to add to the (anti-counterfeiting) campaign they’ve been doing themselves,” Frisbie said.

Xi, who met with President Barack Obama at the White House, is making his visit ahead of his expected appointment as head of China’s Communist Party later this year and to state president in 2013.

Executives from about 10 leading U.S. companies - including Coca-Cola, Motorola Solutions, DuPont and Walt Disney - are expected in the meeting with Xi, along with about 10 from the Chinese side.

“The issues will be raised in a way to show how there’s an opportunity to take the relationship further. And I think the Chinese CEOs will do the same thing with whatever they are going to raise,” Frisbie said.

U.S. companies also are pushing for more transparency in China’s rule-making process and want further progress on Beijing’s promise to delink its policies to promote domestic innovation from access to its government procurement market.

The U.S.-China Business Council is co-hosting a lunch on Wednesday where Xi will deliver a policy speech.

“I don’t think that policy address will say anything radically different,” Frisbie said.

Still, the audience of roughly 600 people will be closely watching Xi for any stylistic differences from current Chinese President Hu Jintao, he said.

Reporting By Doug Palmer; editing by Christopher Wilson

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