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U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke and U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk to Convene 21st Session of the U.S.-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke and U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk will co-chair the 21st session of the U.S.-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade (JCCT) with Chinese Vice Premier Wang Qishan on December 14-15 in Washington, D.C.  U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack will also join the dialogue.

“The JCCT provides an important opportunity for us to address key trade issues such as intellectual property rights, government procurement and innovation policies with the goal of supporting our global competitiveness, increasing U.S. exports and creating jobs in the United States,” Locke said.  “This year we have pursued an aggressive year-round calendar of engagement with China at all levels of our government; we look forward to real progress as a result of these efforts.”

“The JCCT is a key mechanism we have for addressing critical trade priorities with China,” said Kirk. “Our mature trade relationship requires that we use all of the tools at our disposal to confront the challenges we face and to ensure that our trade with China generates the benefits we need for American workers, farmers, and businesses both small and large.”

During the December JCCT meeting, American and Chinese officials will review progress made by over a dozen working groups covering a wide range of trade issues such as intellectual property rights, telecommunications, agriculture, medical devices and pharmaceuticals, and travel and tourism.  

Established in 1983, the JCCT is the primary forum for addressing bilateral trade matters and promoting commercial opportunities between the United States and China. Last year, it was held in Hangzhou, China, and during the meetings China agreed to reopen its market to U.S. pork and to remove barriers for American firms to China’s growing clean energy market.

In addition, the U.S. and Chinese governments signed nine agreements, including a Memorandum of Understanding establishing the U.S.-China Energy Cooperation Program (ECP), and witnessed two commercial signings. The ECP is an innovative public-private partnership administered by the U.S. Trade and Development Agency that leverages the expertise of U.S. companies to help develop clean energy solutions in China.

China was the largest supplier of U.S. goods imports in 2009 and was the third-largest market for U.S. exports in 2009 (after Canada and Mexico).  U.S. goods exports to China were $69 billion in 2009, up 329 percent since 2000.  Trade in services with China (exports and imports) totaled $24 billion in 2009; services exports were $15.3 billion and services imports were $8.6 billion.