Secretary John Bryson spent his last day in China in the financial capital of Shanghai.
He began his day with a group of American business leaders based in China. The leaders, members of American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai and the U.S.-China Business Council, exchanged ideas and shared information about the opportunities and challenges of day to day business operations in China.
As Secretary Bryson said to the group, our bilateral trade with China reached over $500 billion last year, with U.S. merchandise exports reaching $100 billion for the first time. However, with a trade deficit close to $300 billion, we still have a lot of work to do.
The Secretary then gave remarks at a tourism event, highlighting the robust and growing travel of Chinese tourists to the United States.
In his remarks, Secretary Bryson pointed out that "travel and tourism between our countries is crucial to building stronger cultural and economic ties. This generates greater understanding and friendship between our people. And yes, it also generates greater prosperity."Secretary Bryson also took the opportunity to encourage more visitors, emphasizing that “our message to China and people across the globe is clear: the United States welcomes you.”
The Secretary then presented certificates of appreciation to the top five travel agencies in the Shanghai region. The awards were given for their "contributions to the development of travel and tourism from China to the United States, and their support of the U.S.-China relationship between the two peoples."
Considering that the average Chinese tourist spends approximately $5,200 while visiting the United States, these agencies are responsible for contributing over $126 million to the U.S. economy last year.
Before catching a flight back to the U.S., Secretary Bryson also thanked the Department of Commerce's Commercial Service staff based in China for all their continued hard work supporting American business and working to bring more investment to the United States.
With over 100 staff in China, the U.S. Commercial Service is responsible for supporting American businesses that seek to export to one of the largest markets in the world—among other critical responsibilities.
For more information on the U.S. Commercial Service or what the Commerce Department can do to support business, visit Export.gov or BusinessUSA.gov.
For more information on Secretary Bryson's visit to China, see past blog posts:
China Travel Log 3: Secretary Bryson Travels to Nanjing, China
China Travel Log 2: Economic Talks Continue in Beijing
China Travel Log 1: Secretary Bryson Participates in the Strategic and Economic Dialogue in Beijing
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