Dec. 15 marked the end of the 21st session of the U.S.-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade (JCCT) in Washington, D.C.
The JCCT was co-chaired by U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke and U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk along with Chinese Vice-Premier Wang Qishan. U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack also participated in the discussions. The outcome will make U.S. businesses more competitive in China, help boost U.S. exports and jobs, and increase market access for U.S. businesses, creators, innovators, entrepreneurs, farmers and ranchers seeking to do business in China.
Specifically, China agreed to significant initiatives in several areas, including intellectual property rights enforcement, open and neutral technology standards, clean energy, and government procurement. Importantly, on indigenous innovation, China agreed not to discriminate in government procurement based on the origin of intellectual property or to use discriminatory criteria to select industrial equipment. China also agreed to resume talks on beef market access.
“The 21st JCCT was both productive and effective,” said Secretary Locke. “We were able to make progress on significant issues in a number of areas, and on other issues we have established channels that will allow us to continue our robust engagement and pursue timely solutions.”
“China agreed to a series of intellectual property rights commitments that will protect American jobs. The commitments build on China’s recently announced Special Campaign against counterfeiting and piracy,” Ambassador Kirk said. “These commitments will have systemic consequences for the protection of U.S. innovation and creativity in China. We expect to see concrete and measurable results, including increased purchase and use of legal software, steps to eradicate the piracy of electronic journals, more effective rules for addressing Internet piracy, and a crack down on landlords who rent space to counterfeiters in China.”
“China’s announcement that it will not discriminate in government procurement decisions based on where the intellectual property component of the products was developed is a valuable outcome for America’s innovators and entrepreneurs who can continue to create American jobs and selling to the Chinese Government without concern that they will be unfairly blocked from the market. We were also able to obtain China’s commitment to accelerate its accession to the WTO’s Government Procurement Agreement,” said Ambassador Kirk. “China agreed to work with provincial and local governments and to submit a robust revised offer of coverage in 2011.”
“China also committed to revise a major equipment catalogue, which covers heavy machinery and other industrial equipment, and not to use it to discriminate against foreign suppliers or provide prohibited subsidies,” added Secretary Locke. “I am pleased as well with China’s pledge to adhere to openness, non-discrimination, and transparency in its smart grid market, and to cooperate with the United States on smart grid standards, creating more opportunities in a market that is estimated to be worth $600 billion,” said Secretary Locke. “Similarly, China’s commitment on technology neutrality for 3G and future technologies will ensure market access for American businesses to one of the world’s largest telecommunications markets.”
Agriculture Secretary Vilsack said, “I am pleased with the progress made today towards resolving our differences on beef access. Technical talks will resume as soon as possible with the goal of re-opening China’s market in early 2011. This is a vital outcome for our farmers and ranchers, underscoring the importance of the JCCT in providing a forum for our stakeholders.”
The United States and China also signed seven new agreements covering agricultural collaboration, soybean exports, statistics, and promotion of investment in the United States. In addition, the U.S. Trade Development Agency signed the Operating Framework Agreement that marks 10 years of its China program as well as grants for State Grid Smart Grid Standards Development and an Integrated Real Time Water Monitoring System Feasibility Study and Pilot Project.
Established in 1983, the JCCT is the main forum for addressing bilateral trade issues and promoting commercial opportunities between the United States and China.