WASHINGTON (Dec. 19, 2012) — Acting U.S. Secretary of Commerce Rebecca Blank and United States Trade Representative Ron Kirk, along with Chinese Vice Premier Wang Qishan, co-chaired the 23rd session of the U.S.-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade which concluded on Dec. 19.
The U.S. officials announced meaningful progress on key elements of the U.S.-China trade relationship but also underscored that much more work remains to be done to open China’s market to U.S. exports and investment.
“During the past four years that I have been pleased to co-chair the JCCT, the two sides have secured key commitments on issues important to both U.S. and Chinese stakeholders,” said Ambassador Kirk. “The meetings were important both as a capstone to our past efforts and to lay a foundation for progress going forward. The progress we made on issues of fundamental concern demonstrates that the JCCT is a valuable platform that can produce results for business and workers here at home.”
The U.S. and Chinese governments signed agreements related to enhancing understanding and measurement of bilateral trade, and increasing the numbers of reverse trade missions which support China’s continued development while creating more U.S. exports and jobs. Additional information about the signings and fact sheet for the 23rd session of the JCCT will be forthcoming.
“The 23rd meeting of the JCCT demonstrated that the U.S. and China will continue to work toward ensuring healthy and balanced growth in our commercial and economic relationship,” said Acting Secretary Blank. “We made progress today, though we also recognized that there is still work to do. Among other important outcomes, we were able to address U.S. concerns relating to intellectual property and innovation, to agree on the elimination of significant regulatory obstacles that were impeding U.S. exports, and to secure meaningful steps for dealing with core issues in China’s Government Procurement Agreement accession. As China continues to open its market to American exports and investment, it will benefit both of our countries.”
U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack also participated in the discussions.
“USDA continued advancing American agricultural interests today in our bilateral trade discussions with the Chinese government,” Secretary Tom Vilsack said. “China is currently the top export market for agricultural products produced by America’s farmers and ranchers, and we were able to make progress on several key issues, while reinforcing the inherent value of the products produced in the United States. Much more work remains to be completed and we’ll continue working with our Chinese counterparts in the year ahead.”
Established in 1983, the JCCT is the main forum for addressing bilateral trade and investment issues and promoting commercial opportunities between the United States and China.