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Advancing U.S. - China Trade

Containers pile up at Yantai harbor, in East China's Shandong province. (file)

"China is a key partner on a broad range of issues, and their economic health is important to the global economy and the United States.”

Chinese and U.S. officials concluded trade discussions in Beijing on December 20 with “key outcomes in the areas of intellectual property rights, government procurement, and regulatory obstacles,” the U.S. Commerce department said in a press statement issued the same day.

Advancing U.S. - China Trade
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U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker and U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman led the American delegation to the 24th session of the U.S.-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade (JCCT).

The session was hosted by Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang, and discussions also included U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack.

“We have made progress during these meetings, though we still have more work to do on critical issues to further our economic relationship,” Secretary Pritzker said. “I have been in business for 27 years, and I know firsthand how important it is to build relationships with your partners.”

“This was an important start for the three new JCCT co-chairs. China is a key partner on a broad range of issues, and their economic health is important to the global economy and the United States,” she said.

Ambassador Froman noted that the JCCT results built on progress made during Vice President Biden’s recent visit to China, as well as positive announcements resulting from China’s Third Plenum on promoting reform and opening China’s economy. “We still face many challenges, but the JCCT offers us a key tool for resolving important trade and investment issues,” he said.

The JCCT holds high-level meetings annually to address the full range of bilateral trade issues between U.S. and China. It also reviews progress made by working groups that focus on a wide variety of trade issues. The working groups meet throughout the year to address topics such as intellectual property rights, agriculture, pharmaceuticals and medical devices, information technology, tourism, commercial law, environment and statistics.

Established in 1983, the JCCT is the main forum for addressing trade issues and promoting commercial opportunities between the United States and China. The 2012 JCCT meeting was held in Washington.

China was the largest supplier of U.S. goods imports in 2012, and the third-largest market for U.S. exports in 2011 (after Canada and Mexico). U.S. goods exports to China were $110 billion in 2012. Trade in services with China (exports and imports) totaled $47 billion in 2012; services exports were $30 billion and services imports were $17 billion.

The United States looks forward to working with its partner, China, in advancing trade for the benefit of both nations, the Asia – Pacific region, and the world.