US business groups encouraged by prospect of US-China deal

Surveillance cameras are mounted on a lamp post near the large portrait of Chinese leader Mao Zedong at the Tiananmen Gate in Beijing, Friday, March 1

Surveillance cameras are mounted on a lamp post near the large portrait of Chinese leader Mao Zedong at the Tiananmen Gate in Beijing, Friday, March 1

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. business groups say they are encouraged by China's approval of a new law that loosens restrictions on foreign investment and say it could help smooth the way to a substantive trade agreement between the two countries.

China's ceremonial legislature passed a measure Thursday seeking to prevent Chinese officials from forcing U.S. and other foreign companies to turn over proprietary technology, a key sticking point in the trade fight between the two countries.

The U.S. has imposed tariffs on $250 billion worth of Chinese goods in an effort to force changes to a range of China's economic policies.