US Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker and Trade Representative Michael Froman will host a high-level Chinese delegation for the talks during the 25th session of the US-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade (JCCT) from December 16 to 18, officials said.

US Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack will also take part in the dialogue to address key agricultural trade issues between the two countries. "Expanding the US-China bilateral trade relationship is critical to strengthening our nation's economy and supporting job creation in communities from Maine to Hawaii," Pritzker said. Noting that JCCT has played a vital role in their efforts to bolster mutually beneficial relationship for more than two decades, the Commerce Secretary said the upcoming high-level discussions will culminate a year of continuous work to address important issues facing the two nations.

"This dialogue comes at an important time for the two largest economies in the world who share an enormous stake in the global trade and investment system," Froman said. The JCCT continues to be a place where the bilateral ties that link the US and China are reinforced through cooperation and constructive face-to-face discussions focused on making concrete progress to address the challenges, he said.
    
Established in 1983, the JCCT is the primary forum for addressing bilateral trade and investment issues and promoting commercial opportunities between the United States and China. High-level plenary meetings are held annually and are co-chaired by the US Secretary of Commerce, the United States Trade Representative, and the Chinese Vice Premier in charge of trade and investment issues.

Sixteen JCCT Working Groups meet throughout the year to address topics such as intellectual property rights, agriculture, pharmaceuticals and medical devices, information technology and travel and tourism. The 24th Annual JCCT meeting was held in Beijing in 2013. In the last year's meeting, significant progress was made on several important issues, including protection and enforcement against theft of trade secrets, government procurement and market access for US testing and certification companies.

China was the third-largest market for US exports in 2013 (after Canada and Mexico). US goods exports to China were USD 122 billion in 2013, up 652 per cent since 2000. Trade in services with China (exports and imports) totaled USD 52.1 billion in 2013.

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