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China, US start trade talks in Washington

Updated: 2010-12-15 06:39


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WASHINGTON - China and the United States on Tuesday kicked off their annual trade talks in Washington DC.

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Visiting Chinese Vice Premier Wang Qishan co-chaired the 21st Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade (JCCT) meeting with US Commerce Secretary Gary Locke and Trade Representative Ron Kirk.

High-ranking officials of both countries started their talks in small groups on Tuesday afternoon.

The plenary session of the 21st JCCT meeting will be held on Wednesday. In addition to talks on investment, trade, intellectual property right and other issues, it is expected that the two sides will sign a number of bilateral agreements on governmental cooperation at the talks later that day.

The JCCT began in 1983 as a platform for both countries to promote trade and address issues of mutual concern.

The 20th JCCT was held in east China's Hangzhou City on October 28-29, 2009.

About China-US Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade

The China-US Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade (JCCT) was established in 1983 as a government-to-government consultative mechanism for resolving trade concerns and pursuing bilateral commercial opportunities.

The JCCT was elevated to the deputy-premier level in 2004. Tuesday's JCCT was co-chaired by Chinese Vice Premier Wang Qishan and US Commerce Secretary Gary Locke and US Trade Representative Ron Kirk.

The JCCT has played a crucial role in promoting China-US trade, which has soared from less than $2.5 billion in 1979 to $333.7 billion in 2008. It fell to about $300 billion in 2009 because of the global financial crisis and economic recession.

Latest data showed that the bilateral trade volume has resumed to the level before the crisis.

The JCCT now includes a number of working groups, such as trade, investment, intellectual property rights, product safety and agriculture, to discuss specific trade issues during the year.


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