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December 24, 2009

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US expects notable progress in 2010

THE United States government saw trade relations with China "produced concrete results" in 2009 and is optimistic of progress in 2010, according to a report released by the US Trade Representative's office on Tuesday.

"Bilateral engagement produced concrete results in a number of important areas in 2009," the USTR said in its eighth annual report to Congress on how well China is complying with its World Trade Organization obligations. "The two sides were able to resolve significant trade irritants, while also achieving incremental but important progress in other areas."

On the bilateral front, they pursued a robust set of formal and informal meetings and dialogues in 2009, including numerous working groups and high-level meetings.

China and US held their first Strategic and Economic Dialogue meeting in July and the 20th meeting of the US-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade in October.

The report, the first issued by President Barack Obama's administration, said "the United States is optimistic that significant progress is obtainable in 2010."

"China has taken many impressive steps over the last eight years to reform its economy, while implementing a set of sweeping WTO accession commitments," it said.

"China's implementation of its WTO commitments has led to increases in US exports to China, while deepening China's integration into the international trading system and strengthening the rule of law and the economic reforms that China began 30 years ago."

Since China's entry to the WTO in 2001, US exports of goods to China have soared by nearly 270 percent, rising from a 2001 total of US$19 billion to US$70 billion in 2008, said the USTR.

While US-China trade slowed in 2009 amid the global economic slump, China remains the third-largest export market for the US.


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