Posted at 4:55 PM
Last week, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker traveled to Hong Kong to signal the United States' continued commitment to deepening our trade and economic ties with the Asia-Pacific, and to gain greater insights into the commercial opportunities and challenges for American firms operating in the region. Secretary Pritzker is the first U.S. Secretary of Commerce to visit Hong Kong since Secretary Locke led a clean energy trade mission there in 2010. Her visit preceded the 26th session of the U.S.-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade (JCCT), which is co-led by Secretary Pritzker and U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman, as well as Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang. This year's JCCT was held in Guangzhou, China.
During her trip to Hong Kong, Secretary Pritzker met with government and business leaders to learn more about the unique aspects of Hong Kong’s system. In particular, she heard about the specific challenges that American and other international firms face in Hong Kong when dealing with the different regulatory regimes of China, the U.S., and Europe. She also discussed the opportunities for the region that will be created by the recently-completed Trans-Pacific Partnership.
The Obama Administration views Hong Kong as a strong partner in the Asia Pacific and admires its free trade principles, ease of doing businesses, transparency, and rule of law. Hong Kong’s business climate consistently leads global rankings. Hong Kong is our 10th largest export destination in the world and in 2014, U.S.-Hong Kong trade in goods and services totaled $55 billion.
In addition to being an important trading partner in its own right, Hong Kong is an ideal platform for doing business in Asia and serves as a significant bridge between the U.S. and mainland China. There are an estimated 1,300 U.S. companies with a physical presence in Hong Kong.