SOURCE: The US-China Business Council

June 18, 2008 15:28 ET

High-Level Trade Talks Make Important Progress, Says USCBC

WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwire - June 18, 2008) - The fourth session of the US-China Strategic Economic Dialogue (SED), which concluded in Washington today, made important progress on issues that are vital to both countries, the US-China Business Council (USCBC) said today.

"The SED has become a vital forum to ensure that US interests are addressed in our relationship with China," said John Frisbie, USCBC's president. "For instance, this week's meetings focused on cooperative efforts on energy and environmental issues -- two topics that the US and China have huge stakes in getting right so that future generations can continue to prosper."

SED IV, which lasted a day and a half, took place in Annapolis, Maryland on Tuesday and Wednesday. In addition to energy and environmental initiatives, the two countries announced the launch of negotiations for a bilateral investment treaty (BIT).

"A high quality bilateral investment treaty with China would help reduce barriers to US companies doing business in China," continued Frisbie. "In addition, it would encourage Chinese companies to invest here in the US, creating jobs for American workers. We look forward to working with US negotiators on the specifics as the negotiations get under way."

More than 500 US business leaders and US and Chinese officials are expected to attend a dinner this evening in Washington at which China's vice premier and lead trade negotiator, Wang Qishan, will be guest and featured speaker. USCBC is co-host of the dinner along with the National Committee on US-China Relations and the US Chamber of Commerce.

The USCBC (www.uschina.org) is the leading organization of US companies engaged in business with the People's Republic of China. Founded in 1973, the USCBC provides extensive China-focused information, advisory, and advocacy services, along with events, to more than 250 US corporations operating within the United States and throughout Asia.

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