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U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker, U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman Conclude 25TH Session of the U.S.-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, December 18, 2014
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Today marked the conclusion of the 25th session of the U.S.-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade (JCCT). U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker and United States Trade Representative Michael Froman, the two U.S. co-chairs of JCCT, held a press conference at the end of the event to highlight some of the specific progress that was made at the meeting. 

Secretary Pritzker announced meaningful progress on key elements of the U.S.-China commercial relationship including geographical indicators and agreeing to work together to combat illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing. She also highlighted progress made on medical and pharmaceutical issues, three United States-produced seeds for agriculture, and fairer enforcement of China’s anti-monopoly law, among others. But she also underscored that much more work remains to be done to open China’s market to U.S. exports and investment. She also spoke about the decision to “reimagine” this year's JCCT to involve private sector leaders from both the U.S. and China to share their expertise and experiences operating in one another’s respective markets.

Established in 1983, the JCCT is the primary forum for addressing bilateral trade and investment issues and promoting commercial opportunities between the United States and China. High-level plenary meetings are held annually and are co-chaired by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce, the United States Trade Representative, and the Chinese Vice Premier in charge of trade and investment issues. Sixteen JCCT Working Groups meet throughout the year to address topics such as intellectual property rights, agriculture, pharmaceuticals and medical devices, information technology, and travel and tourism.

Remarks As Prepared for Delivery by Secretary Pritzker

Good afternoon. This is the 25th meeting of the JCCT, but it is the first meeting of what we are calling the reimagined JCCT.  

When this dialogue was first launched more than 30 years ago, our two-way annual trade of goods totaled less than $5 billion. Today, our trade relationship has grown to $617 billion, and we are the two largest economies in the world.

Before I discuss some of our specific progress, let me just say this: it is always good to be home. Mayor Emanuel and the Chicago business and civic community have welcomed our delegations with open arms. From Garrett’s Popcorn to the Art Institute, the city has helped make this week truly special. For that, we are grateful.

I would also like to take a moment to thank my partner in this reimagining endeavor, Ambassador Mike Froman.  

Together, the two of us, along with Vice Premier Wang Yang, committed to building a more dynamic and effective economic dialogue between the United States and China. And it has worked. We have had a very productive two days. We have reason to be proud of what our teams have achieved.

Yesterday, we had the opportunity to hear from our respective private sectors. And today, our goal was to keep their thoughts and insights in mind during our government-to-government dialogue. I think we did just that.  

In preparation for these discussions, our deputies and their teams dedicated themselves to achieving outcomes that matched our ambitious vision.

Before we even arrived in Chicago for the plenary session, we had made progress in a number of critical areas – including geographical indicators and agreeing to work together to combat illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing. Since arriving in Chicago, we have made progress on medical and pharmaceutical issues, three United States-produced seeds for agriculture, and fairer enforcement of China’s anti-monopoly law, among others.

Each of these areas is important to U.S. companies. But none of this is to say that we got all of the outcomes we wanted or that the outcomes we got are perfect. We continue to have more work to do on each of these issues, on the JCCT itself, and on our economic relationship.

This has been a productive two days. While difficult to quantify, there was a renewed spirit and effort in this year’s JCCT on both sides, and I look forward to continuing to improve this dialogue in the months and years to come. 

Before I turn it over to my terrific partner, I want to take a moment to thank our other partners in this event: Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack and U.S. Ambassador to China, Max Baucus. Without their commitment and energy, this reimagining could never have come to life.