Chinese and US officials met in Beijing in early May for the fourth Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED). This marked the last S&ED under the current Obama and Hu Administrations. Despite the political transition underway in China as well as the presidential and legislative election campaigns ongoing in the United States, both sides were able to make significant commitments within the context of the S&ED. According to Treasury Secretary Geithner, the United States focused its discussions with China on creating a level playing field for US companies in China and implementing the next generation of China’s economic reforms.
Both sides committed to scheduling the seventh and subsequent negotiating rounds toward the completion of a US-China Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT). This decision follows the April 2012 US government announcement that it completed its review of the model BIT. Negotiations toward a US-China BIT started in 2008, but were placed on hold when the Obama Administration began its review of the model BIT in 2009.
China also committed to respond to requests from the United States and other parties to the WTO Government Procurement Agreement (GPA) regarding China’s most recent offer to join the GPA. China further committed to submitting a revised comprehensive offer to join the GPA by late 2012. In a related development, China plans to issue the Implementation Regulations for the Government Procurement Law and the final Administrative Measures for the Government Procurement of Domestic Products as early as possible.
As a follow-up to the commitment Vice President Xi made in February 2012 that technology transfer and technology cooperation be decided by businesses independently and not be used as a pre-condition for market access, China agreed to hold intensive discussions regarding the implementation of this commitment. China also reportedly agreed to afford intellectual property rights (IPR) owned or developed in other countries the same treatment as that afforded to IPR developed in China.
With respect to export controls, the United States committed to giving full consideration to China’s request for fair treatment as it completes the reform of the US export control system as well as make efforts to facilitate high-tech exports to China for civilian end-users and end-uses. The United States also committed to amending its controls on certain dual-use items to implement changes in the Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls for Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies to facilitate exports to most countries, including China. In an effort to continue their cooperation on export controls, the two sides will hold the US-China High-Tech Trade Seminar in China in the near-term to discuss measures facilitating high-tech and strategic trade.
The next S&ED is scheduled to take place in the United States in 2013.
For more information please visit: http://www.treasury.gov/press-center/press-releases/Pages/tg1567.aspx.