Schwab and Gutierrez Travel to China for JCCT and Trade Talks
WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Trade Representative Susan C. Schwab and U.S. Commerce Secretary Carlos M. Gutierrez will travel to Beijing, China next week for the U.S. – China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade (JCCT) to be held Dec. 11. The JCCT, a high-level government-to-government dialogue, seeks to open market opportunities and resolve trade disputes. U.S. Department of Agriculture officials will also participate in the JCCT. Prior to the JCCT on Monday Dec. 10 there will be a conference on innovation as well as various public events and bilateral meetings.
"The JCCT is a particularly important mechanism we have for tackling some of the inevitable challenges and differences of our large and complex bilateral trade relationship," said Ambassador Schwab. "The American people recognize the benefits of our economic engagement with China but rightly seek more equity and balance in our trade relationship. The Bush Administration will continue to work toward that goal whether through dialogue in fora such as the JCCT or through resolute use of the other tools available to us.”
“American businesses, workers, farmers and ranchers are exporting around the world at record rates,” said Gutierrez. “While U.S. exports to China, our second largest trading partner, are growing at a rate of almost 17 percent in 2007, significant trade barriers to the Chinese market remain. The JCCT provides an important face-to-face platform to address concrete market access issues and strike down these barriers to the fast-growing Chinese market.”
Commenced in 1983, this 18th plenary JCCT session will be co-chaired on the U.S. side by USTR Schwab and Commerce Secretary Gutierrez and on the Chinese side by Vice Premier Wu Yi. The JCCT, the bilateral venue for the U.S. and China to address trade and market access issues, has over a dozen working groups and sub-groups that meet throughout the year to work on a range of trade and investment issues.
Prior accomplishments of the JCCT include: China’s agreement to preload legal operating system software on all computers produced or imported into China, thereby addressing one aspect of business software piracy and helping U.S. software manufacturers; a commitment by China to join the WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization) Internet Treaties; and, development of guidelines to promote bilateral technology trade that help U.S. exporters while maintaining U.S. security.
Following the JCCT, Schwab and Gutierrez will join the U.S. delegation to the Strategic Economic Dialogue (SED) in Beijing, China led by Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson, Jr. The SED is a forum designed to provide an overarching discussion of ongoing bilateral economic issues, cross-cutting issues and long-term strategic challenges.
The third Cabinet-level meeting of the SED will focus on integrity of trade, balanced economic development, energy conservation, financial sector reform, environmental sustainability, and advancing bilateral investment. The dialogue was launched by President Bush and President Hu in September 2006.
Secretary Gutierrez will deliver keynote remarks at the U.S.-China Innovation Conference in Beijing on Dec. 10. The conference is an outcome of the second SED and will focus on promotion rule of law, transparency and competitiveness issues associated with innovation. The conference is co-hosted by the Departments of Commerce and State, as well as Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology.
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