BEIJING - U.S. Trade Representative Rob Portman today said that U.S.-China trade meetings held in Beijing have resulted in measured progress and commitments across a number of fronts in the trading relationship. But he also stressed that more action by the Chinese Government is needed to further open their market and address U.S. concerns. Portman, who met with Premier Wen Jiabao, Vice Premier Wu Yi and other senior officials, said that some progress was made to enforce intellectual property rights; to delay restrictive software regulations; and, to strengthen market access.
Portman serves as a co-Chair of the Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade (JCCT) along with U.S. Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez. U.S. Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns also played a significant role in this year's JCCT.
"There remain very serious concerns regarding American access to the Chinese market. China is a major beneficiary of the global trading system. Along with that comes responsibilities, including opening their market to our products and services just as we have opened ours," said Portman.
"Today we have made some progress in areas of key concern to U.S. businesses, particularly with regard to IPR enforcement, including cracking down on fake goods in China; preventing restrictions on what the Chinese government buys from American companies; and, ensuring U.S. products can be freely distributed in China," added Portman. "But our work is far from finished. We remain concerned about many areas and we will redouble our efforts to address these issues with the Chinese Government."
Background on the JCCT:
The plenary sessions of the 16th U.S.-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade (JCCT) were held in Beijing on July 11, 2005. Co-chaired on the Chinese side by Vice Premier Wu Yi and on the U.S. side by USTR Rob Portman and Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez, with Secretary of Agriculture Mike Johanns playing an important role, the 16th JCCT built on successes achieved at the 15th JCCT and realized new progress on key U.S. systemic trade concerns. The JCCT has proven to be a useful forum for engagement on matters of serious bilateral economic concern, and has delivered real and meaningful results for American businesses, workers, and farmers.
Established in 1983, the JCCT is a government-to-government consultative mechanism that provides a forum to resolve trade concerns and pursue bilateral commercial opportunities. The status of the JCCT was elevated following the December 2003 meeting of President Bush and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao to focus higher-level attention on outstanding trade disputes.
The Administration will continue to use the JCCT and other tools at its disposal to further open China's market to U.S. goods and services, move China to faithfully implement its World Trade Organization commitments, and ensure that trade China is being conducted on fair terms.