By Shannon Togawa Mercer
The 26th session of the U.S. – China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade (JCCT), held in Guangzhou, China, concluded on November 23. The JCCT conference came amidst tension over the South China Sea and not long after the conclusion of the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement (potentially a sore-spot for the excluded Chinese). That said, some small strides were made toward addressing long-standing concerns of both parties. Amongst many discussed topics, intellectual property protection (trade secret policies, online counterfeiting, geographical indication-related measures) and China’s Anti-Monopoly Law stood out. While others, such as a potential U.S.-China bilateral investment treaty, were more notable in their omission. Despite the tempered progress of trade policy negotiations, trade between the U.S. and China continues to grow. The Wall Street Journal reports that two-way trade between the countries amounted to $590 billion in 2014. Chinese data also reflects growth, showing an increase of 2.4% in the first ten months of 2015.
If you’re curious, you can access the USTR’s fact sheet on specific outcomes here.