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U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke and U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk Witness the Signing of Commercial Agreement during China Visit

October 28, 2009

Hangzhou, China - U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke and U.S Trade Representative Ron Kirk today presided over the signing of a business agreement between U.S. and Chinese firms in Hangzhou, China. The U.S. company, Harsco Corporation, based in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, signed a construction service joint venture agreement with a Chinese partner, Zhejiang Construction Materials and Equipment Company to provide construction services for transportation infrastructure, chemical and petrochemical projects, and civilian nuclear reactor facilities.

"Commercial engagement, built on open markets with fair and effective rules, is the foundation of the healthy, strong and continually growing trade relationship we envision for China and the United States," Locke said. "With this partnership, Harsco is doing its part to ensure a growing share of China's construction occurs with safer, lighter and more environmentally-friendly scaffolding and formwork materials. This project will help retain and create jobs in the U.S. by providing more export opportunities - and it will bring crucial new technology and know-how to China.

"The Harsco joint venture will help to keep the economy strong back home in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania," said Ambassador Ron Kirk. "This agreement will help to create new jobs for American workers and open up new opportunities for this American-based business. That is why USTR is working with the Chinese government to open up more opportunities for American companies like Harsco to do business in China."

Joining Secretary Locke and Trade Representative Kirk in the ceremony were Zhejiang Province Vice Governor Chen Jiayuan, Director General for American and Oceanic Affairs of the Chinese Ministry of Commerce He Ning, and Director General of the Zhejiang Provincial Government Construction Commission Zhang Miaogen.

Harsco Corporation is a diversified industrial services company serving global industries, including infrastructure, metals, railways and energy. Active in the Chinese market for over 20 years, Harsco conducts over $100 million of business per year in China as part of its overall annual business revenues of $4 billion. Zhejiang Construction is the largest construction company in Zhejiang and ranks as one of the top 10 construction companies in China.

The signing event highlights the growing cooperation between U.S. and Chinese firms in the construction sector and showcases export opportunities for U.S. businesses in China.