Both President Obama and Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping will be keeping one eye on their legacies during next week's extensive state visit. The trip will have implications for US businesses, as well.
Marc Ross, co-founder and partner at Caracal Strategies, agrees the Seattle trip may provide China with some positive news for the business community in the US, but he questions the extent of its scope.
"If you look at President Xi’s schedule, he is meeting with some of the top American CEOs, but no small business owners and very few entrepreneurs," he tells PRWeek. "I think this is a missed opportunity for him to engage more Americans of different walks of life, to make a broader connection of the benefits of the economic relationship."
Ross notes a recently released Pew Research Center survey shows 54% of Americans have an unfavorable view of China, as opposed to 38% who have a favorable opinion. The survey also found that six-in-10 Republicans (63%) give China an unfavorable rating, as compared with 51% of independents and 50% of Democrats.
"I think there are a lot of Americans that want to be positive about China but don’t feel connected or part of the relationship," says Ross, who has recommended clients should take a more proactive approach to building a positive dialogue about the economic benefits of US-China relations.
In a memo to clients, he urged them to place op-eds in local or national papers in the US from senior company leadership, sponsor and participate in events and roundtables with stakeholders from China, and use internal newsletters and social media to communicate benefits of the visit.
Looking 18 to 39 months out, he also suggests businesses, among other organizations, launch a China executive exchange or sabbatical program and build a government-relations program with an emphasis on the US-China relationship to US commerce.
"The engagement right now is happening at such a high, elite level that it is frankly hard for the average American to feel connected with it," states Ross.
Full article from PRWeek here.