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Trade News: The Big Picture & Little Picture of U.S. – China Trade Relationship

The Little Picture-From PIERS: ‘Tis Not the Season to Be Jolly… for China’s Toy Manufacturers. Recently reported in The Guangzhou Daily, China is calling this Christmas “the worst” for Chinese toymakers ever. Guangdong province, where 60% of China’s exported toys are made, are feeling the sting from plummeted orders from the US, down 25% from last year. China’s toy manufacturers say soaring cost of raw materials and strict American laws are to blame. But Chinese government officials blame a stronger Chinese currency and the high cost of complying with stringent safety standards imposed by the U.S. and EU for compounding the problems and forcing them out of business.

More than 80% of the toys sold around the world come from China, but with U.S. safety laws putting more pressure on the Chinese government to upgrade and improve their toy manufacturing, China is struggling to stay afloat.

The Big Picture-From DOC: U.S. and China Conclude 22nd Session of the Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade.  Established in 1983, the JCCT is the main forum for addressing bilateral trade and investment issues and promoting commercial opportunities between the United States and China.  The work done at JCCT this year will help boost U.S. exports and jobs through:

  • the removal of important barriers related to electric vehicles,
  • strengthened measures to eliminate discriminatory indigenous innovation policies,
  • and stricter enforcement of intellectual property rights in China.

“Both sides worked hard to produce some meaningful progress that will help provide a needed boost to U.S. exports and jobs,” Secretary Bryson said. “This is a step in the right direction. But we must continue to actively engage our Chinese counterparts to open additional opportunities for U.S. businesses.”

During JCCT, China also confirmed that it does not and will not require foreign automakers to transfer technology to Chinese enterprises nor to establish Chinese brands in order to invest and sell in China’s fast-growing market. China also confirmed that foreign-invested enterprises are eligible on an equal basis for electric vehicle subsidies and other incentive programs for electric vehicles.

Investment issues were a source of serious discussion as well. According to published reports, in the next five years, China plans to invest $1.5 trillion in its strategic emerging industries which China defines as high-end equipment manufacturing, energy-saving and environmentally-friendly technologies, biotechnologies, new generation information technologies, alternative energy, advanced materials and new energy vehicles.

In conjunction with the JCCT, U.S. companies signed commercial agreements that will result in nearly $40 million in U.S. exports and support jobs for American workers. The U.S. and Chinese governments also signed agreements related to intellectual property, high-technology trade, statistics and tourism and agreed to public-private partnerships in the areas of energy and U.S. export promotion

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