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US/China Joint Trade Commission Meeting Announced

by Mike Godfrey,, Washington

06 August 2007

US Commerce Secretary Carlos M. Gutierrez and US Trade Representative Susan C. Schwab have announced that the 18th US–China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade (JCCT) will be held the week of December 10 in Beijing, China.

The JCCT, a high-level government-to-government dialogue, identifies and works to resolve bilateral trade issues to expand trade opportunities. Secretary of Agriculture Mike Johanns will also participate in the JCCT.

“I look forward to this important JCCT meeting. We have a number of trade and economic issues to address. While US exports to China are growing, many barriers remain,” said Gutierrez. “We will be working with our counterparts in China to continue delivering results for American workers, businesses, farmers and ranchers, and expanding access to the Chinese market.”

“The JCCT is a vital forum that deals with the nuts-and-bolts of trade,” said Schwab. “It has helped the US and China address and resolve challenging trade issues in the past, and we are looking for it to do so this year as well.”

Commenced in 1983, this 18th plenary JCCT session will be co-chaired on the US side by Gutierrez and Schwab and on the Chinese side by Vice Premier Wu Yi. The JCCT, the bilateral venue for the US 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.

Recent 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 US software manufacturers; a commitment by China to submit an offer to the WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization) Internet Treaties; and, development of guidelines to promote bilateral technology trade that help US exporters while maintaining US security.

In addition to the JCCT, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, leads the US side of the Strategic Economic Dialogue (SED) with China, a forum designed to provide an overarching discussion of ongoing bilateral economic issues, cross-cutting issues and long-term strategic challenges.

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