Despite the snow which caused the Federal government to close its offices in Washington on February 13, I had a very productive, stimulating, and busy visit to Washington recently. It is gratifying to know that key professionals in Washington are interested in hearing about my experiences and my observations on trade and foreign investment related issues in both Europe and in China. In the week that I was there, I had the opportunity to meet with thought leaders from private sector “think tanks” , Members of the House of Representatives and the Senate and their staff members, Administration officials, and of course, potential investors. Some of the highlights of the trip included a reception in honor of former White House Office of Management Budget director, David Stockman, followed by a small dinner at the beautiful Georgetown home of Boyden Gray (former US Ambassador to the EU for President Bush 43 and White House Counsel to President Bush 41) , meeting Senator Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) who serves on the key Senate Finance Committee (which has jurisdiction over trade issues) and who also serves on the International Trade and Finance Subcommittee of the Senate Banking Committee, meeting with Congressman Joe Wilson (R-SC) who serves on the House Foreign Affairs Committee (Trade Subcommittee), meeting with the top leadership of the US China Economic and Security Commission and Commission staff, meetings at Johns Hopkins SAIS, the Economic Policy Institute, the German Marshall Fund, and with the House China Caucus. I am very pleased that I am strengthening my relationships in Washington. I am not petitioning for anything at all, and that is conducive to enhanced candor and to the development of real friendships. Instead, I am enjoying the exchange of observations and thoughtful discussions with interested and interesting people. I am including a photo taken with Congressman Joe Wilson who was a very gracious host.