This week marked the conclusion of the 22nd sssion of the U.S.-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade (JCCT) in Chengdu, China. U.S. Secretary of Commerce John Bryson and United States Trade Representative Ron Kirk co-chaired the JCCT along with Chinese Vice Premier Wang Qishan. The trip was highlighted by meaningful progress on key elements of the U.S.-China trade relationship, though much more work remains to be done to open China’s market to U.S. exports and investment.
The work done at JCCT will help boost U.S. exports and jobs through:
- the removal of important barriers related to electric vehicles,
- strengthened measures to eliminate discriminatory indigenous innovation policies,
- and stricter enforcement of intellectual property rights in China.
“Both sides worked hard to produce some meaningful progress that will help provide a needed boost to U.S. exports and jobs,” Secretary Bryson said. “This is a step in the right direction. But we must continue to actively engage our Chinese counterparts to open additional opportunities for U.S. businesses.”
Specifically, China agreed to make a significant systemic change in its enforcement of intellectual property rights. Through a high-level central government enforcement structure, China will make permanent its 2010 Special IPR Campaign. China will continue high-level involvement that will enhance its ability to crack down on intellectual property rights infringement. And in addition, China’s leadership committed to increased political accountability–the performance of provincial level officials will be measured based on enforcement of intellectual property rights in their regions.
The Chinese government also agreed to continue working to develop solutions to combat the sale of infringing goods on the Internet, while at the same time moving forward to develop additional protections for legitimate trademarks. All of China’s commitments on intellectual property rights will enhance the protection of U.S. innovative products and promote job creation in the United States.
During JCCT, China also confirmed that it does not and will not require foreign automakers to transfer technology to Chinese enterprises nor to establish Chinese brands in order to invest and sell in China’s fast-growing market. China also confirmed that foreign-invested enterprises are eligible on an equal basis for electric vehicle subsidies and other incentive programs for electric vehicles.
Investment issues were a source of serious discussion as well. According to published reports, in the next five years, China plans to invest $1.5 trillion in its strategic emerging industries which China defines as high-end equipment manufacturing, energy-saving and environmentally-friendly technologies, biotechnologies, new generation information technologies, alternative energy, advanced materials and new energy vehicles.
With regard to tourism, China has expanded the U.S.-China Tourism Memorandum of Understanding to three additional provinces for a total of 27 provinces. Spending by Chinese visitors is expected to grow 232 percent to $16.6 billion by 2016, moving up from the seventh-largest U.S. market in 2010 to the third in 2016.
In conjunction with the JCCT, U.S. companies signed commercial agreements that will result in nearly $40 million in U.S. exports and support jobs for American workers. The U.S. and Chinese governments also signed agreements related to intellectual property, high-technology trade, statistics and tourism and agreed to public-private partnerships in the areas of energy and U.S. export promotion
Established in 1983, the JCCT is the main forum for addressing bilateral trade and investment issues and promoting commercial opportunities between the United States and China.