U.S. trade officials said they made strides on several key economic issues during meetings in China this week.
U.S. Trade Representative Michael FromanMichael FromanOvernight Finance: WH floats Mexican import tax | Exporters move to back GOP tax proposal | Dems rip Trump adviser's Goldman Sachs payout Froman heads to Council on Foreign Relations Overnight Finance: Carson, Warren battle at hearing | Rumored consumer bureau pick meets Trump | Trump takes credit for Amazon hirings | A big loss for Soros MORE and Commerce Secretary Penny PritzkerPenny PritzkerDeVos should ‘persist’ despite liberal opposition Indiana teachers hold sit-in to demand Young recuse himself from DeVos vote Overnight Tech: Trump team eyes FCC overhaul | AT&T chief says no plans to spin off CNN in merger | Commerce pick heads to hearing MORE said Friday that they had reached agreements with Chinese officials on intellectual property rights, government procurement and regulatory issues.
The leaders met with Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang and other top officials in Beijing at the annual U.S.-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade (JCCT).
“We still face many challenges, but the JCCT offers us a key tool for resolving important trade and investment issues."
Top U.S. officials including Biden and Treasury Secretary Jack LewJack Lew3 unconventional ways Trump can tackle the national debt One year later, the Iran nuclear deal is a success by any measure Chinese President Xi says a trade war hurts the US and China MORE have stopped in China on recent trips around the Pacific Rim to discuss a wide range of security and economic issues.
Agriculture Secretary Tom VilsackThomas J. VilsackUSDA: Farm-to-school programs help schools serve healthier meals OVERNIGHT MONEY: House poised to pass debt-ceiling bill MORE also was on hand during the discussions.
“We have made progress during these meetings, though we still have more work to do on critical issues to further our economic relationship,” Pritzker said.
“I have been in business for 27 years, and I know first-hand how important it is to build relationships with your partners," she said.
"China is a key partner on a broad range of issues, and their economic health is important to the global economy and the United States."
Meanwhile, President Obama nominated Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max BaucusMax BaucusGOP hasn’t reached out to centrist Dem senators Five reasons why Tillerson is likely to get through Business groups express support for Branstad nomination MORE (D-Mont.) on Friday to become U.S. Ambassador to China.
During the talks, the two nations agreed that China will accelerate its plan to join the World Trade Organization agreement on government procurement and submit a revised offer next year.
China also agreed to ramp up its protection of intellectual property rights, which include stronger enforcement of violations. China's intellectual property agencies, courts and the legislature will receive technical assistance on strengthening the protection and enforcement of those rights.
The United States and China committed to cooperate in 2014 on proposals to amend the trade secret law and on related legislative and policy issues. China is expected to give serious consideration to U.S. legislative reform proposals.
Both sides are aiming to resume U.S. beef exports by July.
On the travel front, China and the United States agreed to open the market for the sale of packaged group leisure travel from China to the U.S. to include Gansu and Qinghai provinces.
The two nations will continue talks about increasing enforcement against counterfeit and substandard semiconductors, and also will aim to tackle the issue of bad faith trademark registrations.
For 30 years, the JCCT has held high-level meetings to review progress made by working groups that focus on a wide variety of trade issues.
China was the largest supplier of U.S. goods imports in 2012, and the third-largest market for U.S. exports in 2011 (after Canada and Mexico). U.S. goods exports to China amounted to $110 billion in 2012.