WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States is looking for action from China next week on market-access barriers blocking U.S. meat and other products and also for stronger protection of intellectual property rights, U.S. officials said on Monday.
“We’re focused on delivering meaningful results on issues including enforcement of intellectual property rights, combating pressures to transfer technology, eliminating trade-distortive industrial policies, and removing key obstacles to our exports,” U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk said in a statement before a December 18-19 meeting in Washington.
U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack added: “We plan to address a range of market access issues affecting exports of U.S. meat and poultry products, as well as horticultural products.”
Kirk, Vilsack and Acting U.S. Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank will be hosting a Chinese delegation led by Vice Premier Wang Qishan at the annual U.S.-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade, an forum to discuss bilateral trade problems.
It is the culmination of a year of meetings but comes at time when both governments are undergoing a transition.
Kirk is expected to leave office in the near future and Blank’s continued service as Commerce secretary is uncertain in Obama’s second term that begins in January.
China’s ruling Communist Party unveiled a new top leadership in November. Vice President Xi Jinping took helm of the party and will take over as head of state in March at the annual parliament meeting.
“These discussions come at an important time and are an opportunity to set the future trajectory of U.S.-China economic relations. Creating a healthy and balanced trade relationship with China is important to the United States,” Blank said.
Senior U.S. lawmakers, in letter sent to Kirk and Blank last month, said they were concerned that China “continues to move away from market-based reforms and is more deeply embracing an economic model dominated by state-owned enterprises, World Trade Organization-inconsistent subsidies and economic protectionism.”
“China’s state capitalist model presents a range of issues that impact the future prosperity of the United States and the economic stability of the world,” they said.
Reporting By Doug Palmer; editing by Christopher Wilson and Cynthia Osterman