U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker and U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman will travel to Beijing to cochair the 24th session of the U.S.-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade on Thursday and Friday with Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang.

They will be joined by U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack.

“The Obama administration is committed to strengthening our partnerships in the Asia-Pacific region, and deepening our commercial and economic ties,” Pritzker said. “The JCCT is a critical component of U.S. engagement in Asia and an important mechanism in our efforts to further build on the U.S.-China bilateral relationship. The high-level JCCT meeting is the capstone of a year of work, and we are eager to engage with our counterparts on issues of mutual importance.”

Froman said the JCCT is an important platform to address wide-ranging bilateral trade issues with China.
“This year we’re focused on making progress on areas including enforcement of intellectual property rights, market access for our goods and services, and removal of regulatory barriers,” the USTR said. “We are working hard to ensure a fair trading environment for our top quality U.S. exports that support important jobs at home.”

Established in 1983, the JCCT is a main forum for addressing bilateral trade issues and promoting commercial opportunities between the U.S. and China. The JCCT holds high-level plenary meetings on an annual basis to review progress made by working groups that focus on a wide variety of trade issues. These working groups meet throughout the year to address topics such as intellectual property rights, agriculture, pharmaceuticals and medical devices, information technology, commercial law, services trade, regulatory barriers to our exports, tourism and statistics.

The 2012 JCCT meeting was held in Washington, where the two sides addressed intellectual property and innovation issues, agreed to eliminate significant regulatory obstacles that impeded U.S. exports, and secured meaningful steps for dealing with issues surrounding China’s Government Procurement Agreement accession.

China was the largest supplier of goods imported to the U.S. last year, including apparel and textiles, and ranked as the third-largest market for U.S. exports, after Canada and Mexico. U.S. goods exports to China totaled $110 billion in 2012.