The 22nd session of the U.S.-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade ended in Chengdu, China on Monday. U.S. officials are reporting meaningful progress on key elements of the U.S.-China trade relationship but also underscore that much more work remains to be done to open China's market to U.S. exports and investment. U.S. Trade Ambassador Ron Kirk, who co-chaired the JCCT, says they have reached agreement on a number of important outcomes, though they had hoped to accomplish even more.
"Both sides worked hard to produce some meaningful progress that will help provide a needed boost to U.S. exports and jobs," Secretary of Commerce John Bryson said. "This is a step in the right direction. But we must continue to actively engage our Chinese counterparts to open additional opportunities for U.S. businesses."
USDA and China's Ministry of Agriculture are finalizing the framework of a five-year strategic plan focused on food security, food safety and sustainable agriculture. Progress was made on beef market access with the parties agreeing to expand discussion beyond technical to the conditions that include scope of products available in the market. China also committed to make progress on removing avian influenza-related bans, to finalize work on a longstanding market access request for U.S. pears, and to complete work on a new dairy certificate to maintain existing market access.
"China is one of the most important agricultural trade partners for the United States and the meetings and discussions in recent days have helped to strengthen this partnership and build greater export opportunities for our farmers, ranchers and growers," said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. "We intend to continue these discussions in the months ahead on beef and other agricultural products to break down additional trade barriers so Chinese consumers can benefit from the high quality products that are produced in America."