Thursday 14 January 2021 9:50 am

China's President Xi writes to former Starbucks chairman in push to improve trade relations

China’s President Xi Jinping has written to Starbucks’ former chairman to promote trade, state media reported this morning.

Xi asked former Starbuck’s tycoon Howard Schultz to promote trade and business relations between Washington and Beijing, urging Schultz to “continue to play an active role in promoting China-US economic and trade cooperation”, the official Xinhua news agency said.

Tougher trade rules

The letter comes shortly after Dominic Raab’s announcement of tougher trade rules set to be introduced to prevent goods with ties to China’s forced labour entering the UK’s supply chain.

In response to Raab’s announcement, the British Retail Consortium (BRC) proposed a multi-stakeholder task force to develop a collective approach on how to tackle the lack of transparency in supply chains.

Head of sustainability at the BRC Peter Andrews said: “We welcome the Government’s recently issued guidance, as we have been calling on them for clarity on how to responsibly conduct business with China.

“The most effective approach to addressing the concerning human rights issues in China requires a government to government dialogue, as well as collaboration between government, industry, civil society groups and representatives of workers at the centre of the allegations.”