At the Nixon Library on Tuesday, the United States and China arrived at major commercial agreements at the 19th annual JCCT (US-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade) after extensive talks led by Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez along with Trade Representative Susan Schwab and Secretary of Agriculture Ed Schafer representing the United States, and Vice Premier Wang Qishan representing China.
Among other items, of particular note was Vice Premier Wang Qishan’s (pictured above) speech during the afternoon press briefing. Qishan announced that China would lift its ban on U.S. beef imports, albeit by compelling the U.S. to consider more stringent regulatory health guidelines. Qishan also announced that China would also be lifting the ban on Avian flu related poultry in six U.S. states, and that it will lower the capital requirement for U.S. businesses by 50 percent. In sum, he re-affirmed China’s central commercial principle of its 30 year open-door economic policy:
We will follow the model of socialism with Chinese features.
Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez (above) also honored the 37th President’s diplomatic legacy in his remarks this afternoon:
Nixon and Mao started the fastest growing and largest economic relationship we have ever seen.
Today, two-way trade can be estimated at over $380 billion up from the $4 billion when China inaugurated its open economy 30 years ago.
Secretary Gutierrez also announced other “robust outcomes” from the conference including bilateral cooperation in solving statistical discrepancies in trade data and the establishment of 12 working groups to address – in part – issues involving intellectual property rights.
Secretary Gutierrez embraces Vice Premier Qishan during a light hearted exchange.
In light of more turbulent times on Wall Street, Secretary Gutierrez also addressed the impact of U.S. trade policy with China, emphasizing the importance of China’s $65 billion export market, and vital investment flow.
U.S. Trade Ambassador Susan Schwab also gave a short press briefing.
Secretary of Agriculture Ed Schafer (pictured signing one of many agreements with a Chinese trade official), concluded the closing ceremony on a hopeful note:
Bring people together by trade is the most beautiful thing we can do.
For more information, check out the Department of Commerce’s outcome fact sheet from yesterday’s conference.