China’s outreach on trade wins some shipper support
December 17, 2010 - LM Editorial
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has praised the administration’s efforts to deliver meaningful outcomes for American business at the bilateral dialogue to promote U.S.-China commercial relations.
The governments announced commitments by China to crack down on intellectual property rights (IPR) violators, legalize software, and reduce market access barriers. This year’s U.S.-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade (JCCT) was held as Chinese President Hu Jintao prepares to visit Washington next month.?
“China’s commitment to eliminate measures requiring local IP content and technology transfer as conditions to compete in its marketplace is a step forward,” said Myron Brilliant, senior vice president for International Affairs at the U.S. Chamber, following the 21st meeting of the JCCT.
“At the same time, we note that today’s promises must be measured not by words on paper, but by tangible progress on the ground. We urge both governments to quickly agree on metrics in future discussions that will quantify that new efforts are in fact translating into results.”??
According to the Chamber, results of the meeting demonstrate that the JCCT process continues to be a constructive one that benefits American companies and workers. In addition to progress on IPR, software, and market access, China also announced it would table a new offer in its negotiations to join the World Trade Organization Agreement on Government Procurement.?
In an interview with LM earlier this week, Jock O’Connell, Beacon Economics’ International Trade Adviser, noted that reliance on China’s manufacturing capability trumps most measures to expand trade.
“Our consumers are more concerned with buying cheap goods, than supporting new U.S.-based ventures,” he said. “We are in the grip of a cycle that values cost over quality.”
But Brilliant maintained that “confidence-building” measures in the commercial sphere—long the bedrock of U.S.-China relations—are the best antidote to rising concerns about the direction of the U.S.-China commercial relationship:
“We encourage both sides to seize the momentum generated at this year’s meeting to work towards resolution of outstanding issues, to resist protectionist impulses, and to open markets further to two-way trade and investment.”
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