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Ambassador Kirk Meets Chinese Commerce Minister, Discusses U.S.-China Trade Relationship

WASHINGTON, D.C - U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk held his first meeting today with the Chinese Commerce Minister, Chen Deming and exchanged views on a range of bilateral and multilateral trade issues. Ambassador Kirk and Minister Chen discussed the importance of avoiding protectionism and of utilizing cooperative mechanisms such as the Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade (JCCT) to resolve bilateral trade issues whenever possible. They also discussed the World Trade Organization (WTO) Doha Round and the importance of achieving a successful outcome that will spur new economic opportunities and contribute to global development and growth.

"Particularly during the current difficult global economic circumstances, both the United States and China have a tremendous stake in maintaining a vibrant, open international trading system to revive and sustain growth," Ambassador Kirk said. "With the size and importance of our bilateral trade flows, we also have a shared interest in ensuring that our bilateral trade relationship is fair, sustainable and mutually beneficial. I look forward to working with Minister Chen to put the Doha Round on a path to success. We will continue to work energetically to meet our global responsibilities, and we look to China to do the same, and also to work hard with us to resolve the many challenging issues in our bilateral trade relationship."

BACKGROUND

China is the United States' 2nd largest goods trading partner with $409 billion in two-way goods trade in 2008, a 6 percent increase over 2007. China was the third largest market for U.S. exports in 2008. Exports to China totaled $71.5 billion in 2008, up 9.5 percent from the previous year, and included electrical machinery, machinery soybeans, aircraft and plastics. U.S. imports from China were valued at $337.8 billion during 2008, up 5.1 percent over the previous year, and included electrical machinery, machinery, toys and sports equipment, furniture and bedding and footwear.