Chief Counsel Travels to China for International Exchange

Article excerpt

Chief Counsel for Advocacy Thomas M. Sullivan and I recently visited the People's Republic of China and had the opportunity to meet with Chinese officials and small business people. In addition to learning firsthand about this country of 42 million small and medium-sized enterprises, we were able to share information with them about small business in the United States and the Office of Advocacy's role in representing small business interests.

The trip had three main highlights: meetings with Chinese government officials and local business owners, the international conference of the Small and Medium-Size Enterprise Support System Project, and the conclusion of a Memorandum of Cooperation between the Office of Advocacy and China's Office of Regulatory Burden Alleviation.

In Beijing, the chief counsel met with municipal officials from the city of Beijing and the surrounding district of Changping. He also met two small business persons. The general manager of a business that designs rainwater capture and re-use systems, Xiaojun Pan, recounted difficulties finding sufficient human capital and equipment and discussed the need for greater policy support for his business. Baolin Zheng, general manager of a science and technology business incubator, described the city's support for his effort.

Next, we traveled to the city of Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan Province. There we attended the closing conference of the Small and Medium-Size Enterprise Support System Project on April 15. The chief counsel addressed the international audience gathered for the conference and explained the unique role of the Office of Advocacy within the U.S. government. Sullivan emphasized the importance of stakeholder involvement and transparency in the U.S. regulatory process. Chinese officials from provincial and national agencies were fascinated by the U.S. rulemaking process and had many questions.

On our return to Beijing, the chief counsel participated in two more important meetings. The first involved U. …