Positive outcomes were achieved on a wide range of issues during the 22nd meeting of the U.S.-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade (JCCT) held in China November 20-21, according to statements issued by the Office of the U.S. Trade Representatives Office and USDA.

In terms of agricultural cooperation, the JCCT reported that USDA and China’s Ministry of Agriculture and General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine are finalizing the framework of a five-year strategic plan focused on food security, food safety, and sustainable agriculture to build a stronger foundation for critical cooperation in agriculture.

USDA also reported that progress was made in discussions with China’s General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine, on beef market access.  The parties agreed to expand discussions beyond technical to the conditions that include the scope of products available in the market.  China also committed to making progress on removing avian influenza-related bans affecting several U.S. states, to finalize work on a longstanding market access request for U.S. pears, and the complete work on a new dairy certificate to maintain existing market access.

Top U.S. government officials participating in the JCCT meeting were Secretary of Commerce John Bryson and United States Trade Representative Ron Kirk, who co-chaired the JCCT along with Chinese Vice Premier Wang Qishan.  Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, who also participated in the discussions said, “China is one of the most important agricultural trade partners for the United States and the meetings and discussions in recent days have helped to strengthen this partnership and build greater export opportunities for our farmers, ranchers, and growers.  “We intend to continue these discussions in the months ahead on beef and other agricultural products to break down additional trade barriers so Chinese consumers can benefit from the high quality products that are produced in America,” Vilsack said.

Secretary Bryson, Ambassador Kirk, and Secretary Vilsack said there was meaningful progress on key elements of the U.S.-China trade relationship but also underscored that much more work remains to be done to open China’s market to U.S. exports and investment.  Progress will help boost U.S. exports and jobs through the removal of important barriers related to electric vehicles, strengthened measures to eliminate discriminatory indigenous innovation policies, and stricter enforcement of intellectual property rights in China, the officials added.