Amid a worsening tariff battle, China is putting off accepting license applications from American companies in financial services and other industries until Washington makes progress toward a settlement, a business group says. The disclosure Tuesday is the first public confirmation of US companies' fears that their operations in China or access to its markets might be disrupted by the battle over Beijing's technology policy, the AP reports. China is running out of American imports for penalties in response to President Trump's tariff hikes, which has prompted worries regulators might target operations of US companies.
The license delay applies to industries Beijing has promised to open to foreign competitors, according to Jacob Parker, vice president of the US-China Business Council. The group represents some 200 American companies that do business with China. In meetings over the past three weeks, top officials told USCBC representatives they are putting off accepting applications "until the trajectory of the US-China relationship improves and stabilizes," Parker says. Chinese authorities have promised to increase foreign access to areas including banking, securities, insurance, and asset management. Parker says Chinese officials want an end to Trump's tariff hikes and a negotiated settlement.