AS PREPARED FOR DELIVERY
Wednesday, December 19, 2012
CONTACT OFFICE OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS
Acting Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank
Remarks at 23rd Session of the U.S.-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade
Press release 
On behalf of President Obama and the United States Government, I am pleased to present a warm welcome to our Chinese friends visiting Washington.
Nearly 30 years ago, in 1983, our tradition of engagement began when the Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade was established. That year, our two-way annual trade of goods was less than $5 billion.
Since then, our relationship has matured and grown. And today, as we open the 23rd session of the JCCT, our two-way trade in goods has grown to over $500 billion. We are now the two largest economies in the world and our relationship—particularly our trade and investment relationship—has never been more important.
The JCCT has played a key role in this growth, and it is an honor to serve with Ambassador Kirk as a co-chair and with Secretary Vilsack at this year’s JCCT, alongside Vice Premier Wang Qishan.
Vice Premier Wang, your service to your country is well known and recognized, and we congratulate you on your election to serve as one of China’s top leaders.
This is an historic time for both of our countries as the elevation of China’s new leadership and the reelection of President Obama coincide. We are entering a unique moment in which we can work together to ensure the healthy short-term and long-term growth of our relationship.
- So let us build on the success we have seen through the JCCT in recent years. . .
- Let us use this meeting to advance our progress toward a balanced and ever-growing trade and investment relationship. . .
- And let us provide a stronger foundation to increase the prosperity of people both in China and in the United States.
I look forward to a fruitful afternoon together. Thank you, and again, a warm welcome to the Chinese Delegation.