U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker and U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman to Travel to China
to Advance U.S. Trade and Investment Priorities, joined by Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack
WASHINGTON – U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker and U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman will travel to Beijing, China to co-chair the 24th session of the U.S.-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade (JCCT) on December 19 and 20 with Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang. They will be joined by U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack.
“The Obama Administration is committed to strengthening our partnerships in the Asia-Pacific region, and deepening our commercial and economic ties,” said Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker. “The JCCT is a critical component of U.S. engagement in Asia and an important mechanism in our efforts to further build on the U.S.-China bilateral relationship. The high-level JCCT meeting is the capstone of a year of work, and we are eager to engage with our counterparts on issues of mutual importance.”
“The JCCT continues to provide an important platform to address wide-ranging issues in our bilateral trade relationship with China,” Ambassador Michael Froman said. “This year we’re focused on making progress on areas including enforcement of intellectual property rights, market access for our goods and services, and removal of regulatory barriers. We are working hard to ensure a fair trading environment for our top quality U.S. exports that support important jobs at home.”
“America’s farmers and ranchers are extremely productive and they are ready to build on five years of record U.S. agricultural exports,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “The JCCT provides a meaningful and important venue to work with our Chinese counterparts on critical trade matters that will help open even more markets for U.S. exports, in line with President Obama’s commitment to increase U.S. exports under the National Export Initiative. China is one of our most important trading partners, and I look forward to joining Secretary Pritzker and Ambassador Froman in this year’s JCCT discussions to further strengthen this important relationship.”
Established in 1983, the JCCT is the main forum for addressing bilateral trade issues and promoting commercial opportunities between the United States and China. The JCCT holds high-level plenary meetings on an annual basis to review progress made by working groups that focus on a wide variety of trade issues. These working groups meet throughout the year to address topics such as intellectual property rights, agriculture, pharmaceuticals and medical devices, information technology, commercial law, services trade, regulatory barriers to our exports, tourism, and statistics.
The 2012 JCCT meeting was held in Washington, where the two sides addressed intellectual property and innovation issues, agreed to eliminate significant regulatory obstacles that impeded U.S. exports, and secured meaningful steps for dealing with issues surrounding China’s Government Procurement Agreement accession.
China was the largest supplier of U.S. goods imports in 2012, and the third-largest market for U.S. exports in 2012 (after Canada and Mexico). U.S. goods exports to China were $110 billion in 2012, up 583 percent since 2000. Trade in services with China (exports and imports) totaled $43 billion in 2012; services exports were $30 billion and services imports were $13 billion.