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Investment treaty between China and US key business goal


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Chinese President Xi Jinping talks about how the Chinese symbol for the word "people" resembles two sticks supporting each other as he speaks Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2015, at a banquet in Seattle. Xi was in Seattle on his way to Washington, D.C., for a White House state dinner on Friday. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

SEATTLE (AP) -- When Chinese President Xi Jinping addresses a meeting of some of the top names in Chinese and American business Wednesday, they may be most interested what he says about progress toward a treaty between the nations that would provide a framework for broader investment in each other's economy.

Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook, Microsoft's Satya Nadella, Amazon's Jeff Bezos, investor Warren Buffett and Jack Ma of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba are among the 30 top executives attending a closed-door discussion being moderated by former U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, who has advocated for such a treaty. All of the American CEOs participating signed a letter to Xi and U.S. President Barack Obama urging them to support an agreement.

Bilateral investment treaties provide the rules of the road for companies doing business in other countries, and can help ensure that the rights of foreign investors are protected and that foreign companies operate on a level playing field with domestic ones. An agreement with China would open up more of that nation's massive market to American companies, provide clearer rules for Chinese investment in the U.S., and create jobs on both sides, supporters say.

Such treaties "can be a powerful catalyst for more economic...