Bilateral Investment Treaty

The Institute works with US and Chinese business and government leaders to advocate for a US-China Bilateral Investment Treaty, which would open China’s markets and level the playing field for both countries’ investors.

Why a BIT? A US-China bilateral investment treaty would help open China’s markets for investment and clarify investment regulations and level the playing field for investors in both countries.

Fast Facts:

  • The United States are currently negotiating a bilateral investment treaty. Both governments have signaled that they want a treaty, but the success will depend on the terms offered by each side.
  • US companies are pushing for a BIT because they argue that investment stipulations in China can be arbitrary, can favor Chinese local companies (especially the state-owned sector) and that there is an uneven playing field.
  • A BIT would not only level the playing field for American companies. It would also open China’s economy to more competition, helping drive some important financial and economic reforms.
  • A BIT could eliminate the need for government approvals for investments up to a certain level. For example, China recently opened the insurance sector to foreign investment, eliminating the need for approvals for most inbound investment of up to $300 million, and outbound investment of up to $1 billion. A BIT would open up other sectors, too.

Why a BIT would be good for America?        Why a BIT would be good for China?

US and China flags


Research: The Think Tank commissioned an in-depth Policy Memorandum mapping out key reasons a BIT would benefit both the United States and China.

BIT by BIT, by Daniel M. Price and Michael J. Smart, July 2013

US-China CEO Dialogues: The Institute has convened two high-level conferences to discuss the benefits and challenges for the bilateral investment treaty.