December 16,2010

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Baucus, Grassley Applaud Results of U.S.-China Trade Talks

Finance Leaders Cite Good Progress on Intellectual Property, Indigenous Innovation in Discussions

Washington, DC – Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and Ranking Member Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) today expressed support for China’s recent commitments to better protect U.S. intellectual property rights and to curb policies that discriminate against American companies by favoring home-grown, or “indigenous” innovation during this week’s Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade (JCCT) discussions.  The Finance leaders also cited China’s agreement to restart talks to open its market to U.S. beef, and Baucus and Grassley stressed the need for a swift resolution of those talks before President Hu’s visit in January. 

“Talks can be constructive, but action is critical, and this week’s joint U.S.-China trade talks resulted in important action,”Baucus said.  “China’s agreement to dedicate real resources to fighting intellectual property rights infringement will increase American exports and result in more good-paying American jobs.  China’s pledge that its government procurement policies will not discriminate between American and Chinese products will allow cutting-edge U.S. companies to compete fairly in China’s market.  China has the potential to be a huge market for America’s ranchers and farmers, and the agreement to restart talks on allowing imports of safe and delicious American beef is promising.  But talks on lifting China’s ban on U.S. beef must conclude swiftly – before President Hu’s visit in January – and China must agree to abide by scientific standards and open its doors to American beef.”


“I’m cautiously optimistic about the developments on intellectual property enforcement and government procurement,” Grassley said.  “American-made wind energy products should get a chance to participate in the Chinese market, and there’s some progress there.  But it’s disappointing that with beef, all we have is an agreement to start talking again in the new year.  The science is clearly on the side of U.S. beef, and it’s more than time for China to recognize that.”


Baucus and Grassley have long been Senate leaders in the effort to remove barriers in the U.S.-China economic relationship so American companies are better able to compete in the global market, grow and create jobs here at home.  On December 6, Baucus and Grassley led 30 other Senators in sending a letter to Chinese Vice Premier Wang Qishan urging China to improve its intellectual property rights protection and enforcement, to stop discriminating against American companies in favor of domestic Chinese or “indigenous” innovation, and to make progress in opening its market to U.S. beef.

During this year’s JCCT, China made important commitments to address U.S. concerns about its failure to effectively protect and enforce intellectual property rights, and its policies discriminating against foreign innovative companies in favor of Chinese or “indigenous” innovation.  Specifically, China agreed to allocate a budget to its government agencies to ensure that those agencies use legal software.  And China agreed that it would not discriminate against American intellectual property rights or innovative companies competing for Chinese government procurements.  China continues to maintain scientifically unjustified restrictions that effectively prohibit the importation of U.S. beef, but agreed to restart talks to lift those restrictions. 

The United States and China established the JCCT in 1983 to discuss and resolve bilateral trade issues.  This year’s talks were led by U.S. Trade Representative Kirk and Commerce Secretary Locke for the United States and by Vice Premier Wang Qishan for China.

The Senate Finance Committee has sole jurisdiction over international trade.