Sino-American Economic Relations: Constraints, Opportunities, and Prospects

by Barry Richman



The article identifies and analyzes the major constraints that bear on U.S.-China trade, as well as other business and technological relationships between the two countries. Evolving from this analysis is an assessment of opportunities and prospects regarding Sino-American economic relations. Such an assessment becomes more meaningful if it is based on a realistic and systematic analysis of the underlying constraints. The views of managers, businessmen, and consultants regarding Sino-American economic relations tend to be shaped largely by their personal experiences or by what they hear from others in the field. A number of highly salient political factors serve to constrain Sino-American relations, particularly the lack of full diplomatic ("normalization") relations between the two countries, which relates directly to the Taiwan issue. It is interesting to note that American executives are often more sensitive about divulging information about their firms' dealings with the Chinese than they are about seemingly more sensitive firsthand research, such as questionable foreign payments and practices.

California Management Review

Berkeley-Haas's Premier Management Journal

Published at Berkeley Haas for more than sixty years, California Management Review seeks to share knowledge that challenges convention and shows a better way of doing business.

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