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On June 23, 2020, FiscalNote hosted a virtual roundtable discussion, “U.S.-China Relations Post-COVID-19,” with Kevin Rudd, former Prime Minister of Australia. The discussion was facilitated by Chris Lu, Senior Advisor at FiscalNote and former Deputy Secretary of Labor, and it covered the 8 key points outlined below.

Assessment of the US-China Relationship

  • COVID-19’s impact on the reputations of the U.S. and China. Both the U.S. and China have been criticized for their management of the pandemic in their respective countries, opening the door for other nations to outshine them on the global stage.
  • The virus’s big hit on China’s economy and workforce. Since employment is fundamental to long-term political stability in China, there are debates about the Chinese
    government’s ability to sustain economic growth and keep employment under control through 2021.
  • There’s a perception that the U.S. is retreating from full-scale engagement with the Southeast Asia region, where China has geopolitical and geoeconomic leverage.

The Global Economic Outlook

• There’s uncertainty about where the debt will land and on whose balance sheet. The economic crisis has created an enormous pressure on all government to engage in unprecedented borrowing. The long-term impact of this growing debt is unclear.
• The public demand for goods has been utterly disrupted. If there is a second wave of coronavirus, we will likely see significant spot outbreaks in the Northern hemisphere and significant impacts on the global economy.

Advice for Corporate Leaders

  • Be mindful of the long-term integrity of your supply chains, if you have a large Chinese component to your supply chain operations.
  • Have good social and economic practices and behave like a genuine corporate citizen. It will help shape China’s perception of Western corporate standards and will also have great benefits for your company’s reputation.
  • Watch the EQUITABLE Act introduced by Senators Marco Rubio. The bill was recently introduced to ban Chinese and foreign companies from being listed on the New York Stock exchange, and it can have long-term impacts on U.S.-China trade tensions.

The discussion closed with Chris Lu thanking attendees for their thoughtful questions. To participate in a future virtual roundtable session, please email for more information.

Resource Highlights

Check out these resources highlighted at the virtual discussion:

Download the Executive Summary (PDF)