New York, N.Y., May 4, 2012 – The United States Council for International Business (USCIB) hailed progress made on several fronts at the U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED) talks in Beijing this week. USCIB President and CEO Peter M. Robinson said the two countries had demonstrated a “commitment to strengthen and deepen our business and economic ties,” and applauded in particular plans to negotiate a bilateral investment treaty (BIT).
According to the U.S. Treasury Department, the economic track of this week’s S&ED talks resulted in several important developments for American business, including:
- agreement to intensify negotiations of a U.S.-China BIT
- China’s commitment to provide non-discriminatory treatment to all enterprises, including state-owned enterprises (SOEs), in terms of credit, taxation and regulatory policies
- agreement by China to take part in international talks to develop new rules on export financing, increase transparency in rule-making, and open up new sectors to foreign investment
- China’s pledge to take steps to join the WTO Government Procurement Agreement.
“Taken together, these commitments could go a long way toward addressing some of the U.S. business community’s major concerns,” Robinson said. “As an organization that seeks to promote trade, investment and regulatory coherence between the U.S. and the rest of the world, we are especially pleased with the decision to enter into BIT negotiations and address the SOEs issue. We commend the U.S. and Chinese government for demonstrating their commitment to strengthen and deepen our business and economic ties.”
USCIB has been a leading American business voice urging the two governments to negotiate a strong, comprehensive BIT. Last month USCIB welcomed the release of a revised U.S. model bilateral investment treaty. “BITs are important tools to open overseas markets for U.S. companies, and they help drive U.S. exports and jobs in an increasingly competitive global marketplace,” Robinson said at the time. “We are glad to see the U.S. getting back in the game, to ensure that we don’t fall behind our competitors in terms of investment protections.”
USCIB has also pressed for new international disciplines to ensure competitive neutrality for SOEs vis-à-vis their private-sector counterparts, including in third markets, and is working with the U.S. and other governments to address the issue in the Trans-Pacific Partnership talks and in the OECD.
USCIB promotes open markets, competitiveness and innovation, sustainable development and corporate responsibility, supported by international engagement and prudent regulation. Its members include top U.S.-based global companies and professional services firms from every sector of our economy, with operations in every region of the world. With a unique global network encompassing the International Chamber of Commerce, the International Organization of Employers and the Business and Industry Advisory Committee to the OECD, USCIB provides business views to policy makers and regulatory authorities worldwide, and works to facilitate international trade and investment. More information is available at www.uscib.org.
Jonathan Huneke, VP communications, USCIB
(212) 703-5043 or firstname.lastname@example.org