U.S., China to Hold Trade, Investment Talks Amid Tensions

The 20th meeting of the U.S.-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade will be held in the eastern Chinese city of Hangzhou on October 28-29.

Ahead of President Barack Obama's visit to Beijing, the U.S. and China will hold their annual ministerial talks on trade and investment issues later this month.

The 20th meeting of the US-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade (JCCT) will be held in the eastern Chinese city of Hangzhou on October 28-29. The U.S. will be represented by USTR Ron Kirk, Commerce Secretary Gary Locke and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack while Chinese Vice Premier Wang Qishan will lead his tea.

Trade tensions between the powers have intensified in recent months, with both sides taking action against the other's imports. Obama ignited the first major trade spat of his presidency last month after he imposed punitive duties on Chinese-made tires.

An angry Beijing lodged a complaint at the World Trade Organization and retaliated by launching a probe into possible unfair trade practices involving imports of U.S. car products and chicken meat.

Beijing charged that Washington's move violated WTO rules but Obama has denied that it amounted to protectionism.

Last week, the United States launched a probe on whether to slap almost 100% tariffs on steel pipes imported from China.

Obama is due to make his first presidential visit to China on November 15-18. He will visit Shanghai and Beijing, where he will hold a third set of talks with Chinese President Hu Jintao.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2009

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