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U.S. Commerce Secretary Pritzker and USTR Froman to convene 26th Session of U.S.-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker and U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman will co-lead a high-level U.S. Government delegation for the 26th session of the U.S.-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade (JCCT), November 21-23, in Guangzhou, China. U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack will also take part in the dialogue to address key agricultural trade issues between the two countries.  The Chinese Government delegation will be led by Vice Premier Wang Yang.

“Constructive engagement and sustained diplomacy between the U.S. and China is critical, as we represent the two largest economies and the two largest markets in the world,” said U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker. “Building on President Xi’s historic U.S. visit and the commitments made this year, we will use the JCCT to encourage China to undertake economic reforms that increase market access for international firms, while also addressing issues of significance to both of our nations. Guangzhou is an excellent place to continue the positive progress that our two countries made last year at the reinvigorated JCCT in Chicago, and we look forward to announcing additional strong outcomes in November.”

 “This year’s JCCT is an important opportunity for discussing the entire range of trade and investment issues important to our workers and businesses, and establishing a stronger, more open rules-based trading system,” said U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman.  “Our upcoming discussions will mark the culmination of an intense year of on-going economic engagement with China and reinforce the fact that the U.S.-China economic relationship is one of the defining relationships of the 21st century. Guangzhou is an especially fitting venue given the city’s central role in trade and cultural exchange, from its founding nearly two millennia ago to today.”

“The JCCT provides a meaningful and important venue to work with our Chinese counterparts on critical trade matters that will help open even more markets for U.S. exports, helping America’s farmers and ranchers continue the record pace of U.S. agricultural exports set under President Obama,” said Agriculture Secretary Vilsack.  “China is one of our most important trading partners, and I look forward to joining Secretary Pritzker and Ambassador Froman in this year’s JCCT discussions to further strengthen this important relationship.”

Established in 1983, the JCCT is the primary forum for addressing bilateral trade and investment issues and promoting commercial opportunities between the United States and China. High-level plenary meetings are held annually and are co-chaired by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce, the United States Trade Representative, and the Chinese Vice Premier in charge of trade and investment issues. Sixteen JCCT Working Groups meet throughout the year to address topics such as intellectual property rights, agriculture, pharmaceuticals and medical devices, information technology, and travel and tourism.

The 25th Annual JCCT meeting was held in Chicago, Illinois from December 16-18, 2014. At those meetings, significant progress was made on several important issues, including in the areas of medical device and pharmaceutical access, competition law, agricultural biotechnology approvals, and protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights, including trade secrets.

China was the second-largest market for U.S. exports in 2014 (after Canada). U.S. goods exports to China were $124 billion in 2014.  U.S. exports in services with China totaled $42.4 billion in 2014.