Washington, DC – The National Foreign Trade Council today issued a statement commending U.S. and Chinese negotiators for making progress on issues important to business in the U.S.-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade (JCCT) talks.
Established in 1983, the U.S.-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade (JCCT) is a government-to-government consultative mechanism that provides a forum to resolve trade concerns and promote bilateral commercial opportunities. The status of the JCCT was elevated following the December 2003 meeting of President Bush and Chinese Premier Wen to focus higher-level attention on outstanding trade disputes. This year’s talks are being chaired by U.S. Trade Representative Rob Portman, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez and China’s Vice Premier Wu Yi.
“The United States and China have a tremendous stake in a mutually beneficial and growing economic partnership,” said NFTC Vice President Mary Irace. “The United States derives important benefits from our bilateral trade relationship with China, however, that relationship is not fully reciprocal in terms of openness, transparent rule of law and compliance with current obligations and commitments. China has long benefited from access to the U.S. market and must reciprocate fully in return as a maturing trade partner of the United States. Progress made today indicates that they are willing to move in that direction,” Irace added.
According to those engaged in the current JCCT talks, China has committed to formally beginning its negotiations to join the WTO Government Procurement Agreement. China has also made new commitments to address ongoing barriers to U.S. telecommunications and medical device industries, as well as express delivery services and beef exporters. There has also been progress reported in China’s agreement to comply with intellectual property rights obligations and address major piracy issues.
“The NFTC and its diverse business members support additional forward movement on these and other important commercial issues with China as part of the upcoming visit of President Hu Jintao, and in the weeks and months ahead,” Irace stated. She concluded by adding that the “NFTC also looks to China to help lead the Doha Round to an ambitious conclusion.”
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