U.S. Trade Representative Rob Portman and U.S. Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez came away from their July 11 talks with Chinese officials in Beijing with Portman saying although some progress on bilateral trade issues had been made, "our work is far from finished."
Portman reported progress on Chinese enforcement of U.S. intellectual property rights, the delaying of what the U.S. regards as restrictive software regulations, and the strengthening of U.S. access to Chinese markets.
According to a fact sheet released by Portman's office, during a meeting of the U.S.-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade (JCCT) China, among other things, agreed to take eight steps to reduce infringement of U.S. intellectual property rights; to hold off on software regulations as it "further considers" public comments and makes revisions consistent with rules of the World Trade Organization (WTO); and to further discuss U.S. access to the Chinese insurance and telecom markets.
China also pledged to provide the WTO with a "detailed" list of its subsidies by the end of this year and to work with the U.S. on anti-dumping issues.
"U.S. companies continue to face serious problems in China, particularly with respect to the protection of intellectual property and reciprocal market access," said Frank Vargo, vice president for international economic affairs at the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), Washington, D.C.
"But the JCCT appears to have move the ball downfield in several key areas," he added. "China's commitment to increase criminal prosecutions for counterfeiting is certainly welcome," he said. Vargo also welcomed JCCT agreement that China would create an office in its embassy in Washington, D.C., to handled the counterfeiting problems that smaller U.S. companies confront. "This was a top priority for the NAM, and we'll now seek a cooperative private sector-government program to more effectively focus on the costly counterfeiting problems of small U.S. exporters," he said.