China should implement its commitments to equal treatment for foreign business and abandon “implicit” guidance to replace foreign products with domestic alternatives, the American Chamber of Commerce in China said on Tuesday.

In an annual white paper, the chamber, also known as AmCham, which represents 900 companies, also called on the United States and China to communicate more and cooperate on climate change and public health.

The relationship between the world’s two biggest economies deteriorated rapidly over the past few years over issues ranging from trade to China’s response to COVID-19.

When ties worsen, U.S. firms see poorer implementation of regulations promising equal treatment for foreign business, affecting investment project approvals and market access, said Greg Gilligan, chairman of AmCham China.

“We feel that local officials are reacting to the levels of tension in the relationship and just taking the safer path which is to offer preference to domestic industry,” he said, speaking at a news conference on Tuesday.

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