Established in 1983, the U.S.-China Joint Commission on Commerce
and Trade (JCCT) is a government-to-government consultative mechanism that provides a forum to resolve
trade concerns and promote bilateral commercial opportunities.
Previously led by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce and the Chinese
Commerce Minister, the status of the JCCT was elevated following the December 2003 meeting of President
Bush and Chinese Premier Wen to focus higher-level attention on outstanding trade disputes.
This year’s JCCT – chaired by Commerce Secretary Don Evans, U.S.
Trade Representative Robert Zoellick and Chinese Vice Premier Wu Yi – achieved concrete
results on key U.S. systemic trade concerns and laid the foundation for further
During the JCCT, China announced steps toward a market-based and
technology neutral approach to the development of next generation wireless standards for computers
and mobile phones. These steps will enable American firms to participate fully in China’s growing
market for information technology.
• With respect to its proprietary
WAPI encryption standard for wireless computer networks, China announced that it will:
-- Suspend indefinitely its proposed implementation of WAPI as a
mandatory wireless encryption standard.
-- Work to revise its WAPI standard, taking into account comments
received from Chinese and foreign firms.
-- Participate in international standards bodies on WAPI and
wireless encryption for computer networks.
• With respect to third generation
telecommunications standards (3G) for mobile phones, China stated that:
-- It supports technology neutrality with respect to the adoption
-- Telecommunications service providers in China will be allowed
to make their own choices as to which standard to adopt, depending on their individual
-- Chinese regulators will not be involved in negotiating royalty
payment terms with relevant intellectual property rights holders.
China presented an action plan designed to address the piracy and
counterfeiting of American ideas and innovations. Under this plan, China has committed
• Significantly reduce IPR
• Increase penalties for IPR
violations by taking the following actions by the end of 2004:
-- Subject a greater range of IPR violations to criminal
investigation and criminal penalties.
-- Apply criminal sanctions to the import, export, storage and
distribution of pirated and counterfeit products.
-- Apply criminal sanctions to on-line piracy.
• Crack down on violators by:
-- Conducting nation-wide enforcement actions against piracy and
counterfeiting – stopping the production, sale and trade of infringing products, and
-- Increasing customs enforcement action against the import and
export of infringing products and making it easier for rights-holders to secure
effective enforcement at the border.
• Improve protection of electronic
-- Ratifying and implementing the World Intellectual Property
Organization (WIPO) Internet Treaties as soon as possible.
-- Extending an existing ban on the use of pirated software in
central government and provincial agencies to include local governments.
• Launch a national campaign to
educate its citizens about the importance of IPR protection (campaign started on April 6). The campaign will include press
events, seminars and outreach through television and print media.
• Establish an intellectual
property rights working group under the JCCT. Under this working group, U.S. and Chinese trade, judicial and law enforcement
authorities will consult and cooperate on the full range of issues described in China’s IPR
China agreed to accelerate steps necessary to allow U.S. companies
to import, export, distribute and sell their products in China without going through local state trading
companies – giving them full control of their supply chains from American farm or factory to Chinese store
shelf. Specifically, China has committed to:
• Implement its WTO trading rights
obligations by July 1, 2004 – six months ahead of schedule (law setting July date issued April 6).
-- Once these rights are in effect, U.S. companies will be free to
ship American products into China without using local middlemen.
-- China will publish its draft implementing regulations on
trading rights for public comment by June 1, 2004.
• Provide distribution rights to
U.S. companies in China on schedule by the end of 2004. China published its draft implementing regulations for distribution
rights on April 16, well in advance of the implementation date.
-- Distribution rights will allow U.S. firms to engage in
wholesaling and retailing of U.S. products directly within China, as well as providing related
• Open its market for American
shipping through a Bilateral Maritime Agreement signed during the JCCT – allowing U.S. carriers to open full branches in China and
to operate without restrictions.
China agreed to implement new transparency procedures and issue
product approvals that will further open its market for U.S. agricultural products. Specifically,
• Issue final safety certificates
for U.S. biotech soybeans, ensuring opportunities for continued strong U.S. sales to China.
• Announce biotech approvals for
seven U.S. canola and four U.S. corn events and review the remaining two U.S. corn events submitted for approval when its
technical committee meets in May.
• Make it easier to export American
wheat, cotton, corn and other products subject to tariff rate quotas to China by providing the names of its domestic quota
holders to U.S. exporters upon request.
The Work Ahead
To build on the results achieved at this year’s JCCT and to make
further progress, U.S. and Chinese officials will soon hold meetings under JCCT working groups on
insurance, structural issues, agriculture and a newly formed intellectual property body that will bring
together trade, judicial, and law enforcement authorities from the United States and China.
The United States and China will also soon fix a date for the next
JCCT meeting and the next U.S.-China Trade Dialogue, chaired by the Deputy U.S. Trade Representative
and China’s Vice Minister of Commerce.
For additional information on agriculture, see the web site of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. For further information on
other JCCT results – including on export controls, structural issues, textiles and export promotion – see the web site of the
U.S. Department of Commerce.