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U.S. Secretary of Commerce John Bryson Stops in Beijing Before U.S.-China Trade Negotiations in Chengdu

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Bryson meets with American business community and Chinese investors, tours Wisconsin-made airport vehicles

U.S. Commerce Secretary John Bryson today participated in a meeting with the American business community hosted by the American Chamber of Commerce (AMCHAM) and the U.S.-China Business Council (USCBC), and met with members of the Chinese business community to discuss bilateral trade and investment issues. While in Beijing, Bryson also stopped off at a local U.S. franchise – Subway – to highlight the success of American brands in China, and joined U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk to tour Wisconsin-made airport vehicles at the Beijing Airport. Bryson is in China to co-chair the 22nd Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade (JCCT) – the annual bilateral trade negotiations - with USTR Kirk in Chengdu.

“As the world’s two largest economies, the U.S. and China have an important commercial relationship,” said Secretary John Bryson. “As Secretary of Commerce, I intend to help strengthen our ties by working to open markets and create a level playing field for American companies in China, promote the growth of U.S. exports to China and invite Chinese investment into the United States. Our efforts at the Commerce Department will not only deepen our commercial relationship, but they will help create economic benefits and opportunities for both of our countries.”

During the meeting with the American business community, Bryson shared his commitment to opening markets and leveling the playing field for U.S. companies in China and he pledged to take their issues to the JCCT meeting in Chengdu. The discussion focused on intellectual property protection, bilateral investment and China’s indigenous innovation practices.

Bryson also met with Chinese business leaders to encourage them to invest - by establishing factories, facilities, operations and offices - in the United States and to help them better understand the opportunities and ease of investing in the U.S. He highlighted the benefits enjoyed by foreign companies who invest in the U.S.: the largest consumer market in the world; an educated, innovative and productive workforce; strong intellectual-property protections; and dynamic capital markets. More than five million Americans are directly employed by foreign companies in the United States. China's foreign direct investment in America increased nearly twelve-fold (from $0.5 billion to $5.8 billion) between 2008 and 2010. The Obama administration recently announced Select USA - the first coordinated federal effort to aggressively pursue and win new business investment in the United States while cutting red tape and removing barriers.

The Secretary saw firsthand the success of American brands and the benefits of U.S. exports to China while on his visit to Beijing. He first stopped at the American sandwich franchise, Subway, for lunch and met with local Subway employees. Subway has 243 stores in China which use made-in-USA goods, including bread ovens. The Subway stores throughout Asia bought nearly 0.5 million pounds of Turkey in 2010.

Bryson and USTR Kirk stopped at the Beijing airport to see vehicles – fire and snow removal trucks - made by Wisconsin-based Oshkosh. Oshkosh has been a client of the Commerce Department’s Foreign Commercial Service in China since 2001, receiving export counseling and advocacy assistance. From 2007 to 2010, Oshkosh sold 33 snow trucks and six fire trucks to the Beijing airport supporting the winter and fire fighting rescue operations. The vehicles are 100 percent made in Wisconsin- supporting local jobs - with a total value of nearly $30 million. Oshkosh has sold more than 125 of these trucks throughout China totaling more than $85 million.

“The export successes of companies like Oshkosh demonstrate the importance of President Obama’s National Export Initiative,” said Secretary Bryson. “U.S. exports to China are creating win-win scenarios by growing U.S. firms and supporting American jobs, while providing China with the high quality goods and services that U.S. companies can provide from public service vehicles to medical devices to retail and logistics services.”

Since President Obama announced the National Export Initiative in early 2009, exports have played an important role in America’s economic recovery. Worldwide exports in 2010 grew by 17% over 2009 and exports to China grew by 32%.  China was the largest supplier of U.S. goods imports in 2010 and was the third-largest market for U.S. exports in 2010 (after Canada and Mexico).  U.S. goods exports to China were $92 billion in 2010, up 468 percent since 2000. Trade in services with China (exports and imports) totaled $31 billion in 2010; U.S. services exports were $21 billion and services imports were $10 billion.