US businesses ask White House to help on China cybersecurity rules

[WASHINGTON] business lobbies called on the White House this week for help to overturn new Chinese cybersecurity regulations they say would hurt market opportunities abroad and jobs in the US.

In a letter sent to officials including Secretary of State John Kerry and US Trade Representative Michael Froman on Feb 4, the US Chamber of Commerce and 16 other US business lobbies said the new rules raised questions about China's international trade commitments. "(We) request your immediate action to work with Chinese officials to reverse an alarming number of troubling, new Chinese government policies impacting the information and communications technology (ICT) sector," said the letter, first reported in the Wall Street Journal.

Cybersecurity has been a significant irritant in US-China ties, with both sides accusing the other of abuses. US tech groups wrote to the Chinese administration about the same policies on Jan 28.

New cybersecurity regulations would force technology vendors to Chinese banks to hand over secret source code and adopt Chinese encryption algorithms.

The policies would have a "significant negative impact" on US. ICT companies' market opportunities in China and ultimately crimp investment in research and development back home, hurting US jobs, the groups said.

US manufacturers would also suffer as the policies would restrict cross-border data flows and create another market barrier for foreign financial services and telecommunications companies said the letter, which was also signed by the National Association of Manufacturers.


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