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Spotlight: California businesses eager to export to China
Last Updated: 2018-08-07 10:53 | Xinhua
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For California local businesses struggling to cope with the U.S. Government's ratcheted-up protectionist tactics against major trade partners, there may be light at the end of the tunnel.

"You can export to China but you need to have a coherent China strategy," Shenling Yang, head of NetEase Kaola North America,told a rapt audience at the Export and Trade Round Table in Duarte City, California, on Thursday.

Kaola.com is a subsidiary of China's giant online retailer NetEase.

"Use all the resources available to you to understand the Chinese consumer. They want quality American products," she emphasized.

Along with other import-export trade specialists from China and the United States Yang was attending the conference hosted by U.S. Democratic Congresswoman Grace F. Napolitano and Duarte Councilman Samuel Kang.

It was packed with local business owners, manufacturers and entrepreneurs vocal in their concerns about the growing impact of the U.S.-China trade conflict on their businesses. Many of them use Chinese raw materials to manufacture their products or have seen marked increases in their costs.

They had gathered in the hope of learning how to save their businesses by exporting to China.

Despite being in his 80's, veteran California wine producer Gaetano D'Aquino is eager to expand into the China market. Other entrepreneurs, such as Campbell McAuley, a stylist for Hollywood stars and CEO of a company making beauty products, also plan to export products to China.

They bombarded the speakers with questions on how to enter the Chinese market.

Yang said the newfound ease of international payments and logistics, and regulatory reforms in China have enabled cross-border retail exports to flourish, creating growing opportunities for small-to-medium U.S. companies to grab a profitable marketplace in China.

"We can help you," said Ritchie Cui, senior development manager of another giant Chinese online retailer, JD.com. Cui said online sale "is a tremendous opportunity for smaller American companies with fewer resources to compete in the China market."

"Local businesses are telling us how hard hit they are by the administration's hardball tactics," Councilman Kang told Xinhua.

"These new cash-flow problems are leaving them with no choice but to raise their prices, which makes them uncompetitive and can force them out of business. Or they have to lay off workers, which is devastating to local families and the economy," Kang added.

"These tariffs are killing our business," said Curtis Glover, president of operations for Lighting Technologies International. "We can't get these specialized materials anywhere else but China."

Congresswoman Napolitano said in California, between 775,000 and 1 million jobs derive from exports. "It's about jobs. And we want more of them. That's why increasing exports is so important," she told Xinhua.

Rachid Sayouty, director of Commercial Service of Los Angeles, invited all local businesses to take advantage of the many programs the government has set up to facilitate trade and export for businesses of all sizes.

"California is now the fifth largest economy in the world. Many Chinese come here, do business here, and buy goods from here," said Iraj Kamalabadi, executive director of Future Trends International (Group) Corporation, a consultancy active in China and the United States.

"People don't like trade wars. Elected officials must represent their people or they will not be re-elected. The bottom line is it's about your family, my family. It's a real problem that hits your heart," Kamalabadi told Xinhua.

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