Commerce Secretary Gary Locke, speaking at the recent opening of the 21st Annual U.S.-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade, said that the "bilateral trade relationship [between China and the United States] ... is robust and supports millions of jobs for our people."
Established in 1983, the Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade is the main forum for addressing bilateral trade issues and promoting commercial opportunities between the United States and China.
"Pick up the newspaper on any given day," Secretary Locke said, "and you'll surely see a catalog of the latest disagreements between China and the United States. But . . . our disagreements do not define us -- [they] are in fact the inevitable byproduct of two trading partners whose commercial relationship has been growing steadily for four decades."
Significantly, during the session, China agreed to resume talks on beef market access. "Technical talks will resume as soon as possible with the goal of re-opening China’s market in early 2011," Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said. "This is a vital outcome for our farmers and ranchers, underscoring the importance of the Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade in providing a forum for our stakeholders."
Commerce Secretary Locke said China has also committed to not discriminate against foreign suppliers, or to provide prohibited subsidies. "I am pleased ... with China’s pledge to adhere to openness, non-discrimination, and transparency in its smart grid market," he added, "and to cooperate with the United States on smart grid standards. ... Similarly, China’s commitment on technology neutrality for 3G [third generation developments in wireless technology] and future technologies will ensure market access for American businesses to one of the world’s largest telecommunications markets."
The United States and China signed a total of seven new agreements covering agricultural collaboration, soybean exports, statistics, and promotion of investment in the United States.
At the successful conclusion of the 21st session of the U.S.-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade, Commerce Secretary Locke said, "The work we’ve done ... will benefit both China and the United States."