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July 28, 2009 

Several Important Trade-Related Issues Discussed at First U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue

Today marked the conclusion of the first U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue held in Washington, DC. At the conclusion of the meetings, the U.S. and China issued a Joint Fact Sheet summarizing the issues and action items agreed to during the two days of discussions.

The fact sheet contained several items of note on U.S. trade-regulatory issues.

Regarding foreign direct investment in the U.S., the fact sheet indicates that the U.S. "confirms that the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) process ensures the consistent and fair treatment of all foreign investment without prejudice to the place of origin."

On antidumping issues, the United States recognized "the continued progress China has made in its market reforms and will earnestly consider China's concerns, and will consult through the JCCT [US-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade] in a cooperative manner to work toward China's Market Economy Status in an expeditious manner." This has been an important issue for China, since for antidumping purposes China is treated as a non-market economy, a designation that typically leads to higher antidumping duty margins.

With respect to export controls, the U.S. and China agreed "to accelerate the implementation of "Guidelines for China-U.S. High Technology and Strategic Trade Development" and expeditiously formulate the Action Plan on Expansion of China-U.S. High Technology and Strategic Trade Cooperation in Priority Sectors.

The Guidelines referred to in the fact sheet were signed in December 2007 by former Under Secretary of Commerce Mario Mancuso and MOFCOM Vice Minister Wei Jiangguo. Under the Guidelines, the Commerce Department and MOFCOM agreed to jointly identify and carry out steps to enhance secure high technology and strategic trade. For example, the Commerce Department and MOFCOM will continue to review U.S. dual-use policy to identity and implement appropriate processes to streamline the licensing process for legitimate civilian trade. The Guidelines also recognized the critical role of end-use visits conducted by BIS in ensuring the protection of U.S. national security interests in the enhancement of high technology trade.

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