U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack participated in the discussions concluding December 20 for the 23rd session of the U.S.-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade. 

"USDA continued advancing American agricultural interests [December 20] in our bilateral trade discussions with the Chinese government," said Vilsack. "China is currently the top export market for agricultural products produced by America's farmers and ranchers, and we were able to make progress on several key issues, while reinforcing the inherent value of the products produced in the United States. Much more work remains to be completed, and we'll continue working with our Chinese counterparts in the year ahead."

Acting U.S. Secretary of Commerce Rebecca Blank and U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk co-chaired the joint commission along with Chinese Vice Premier Wang Qishan. The U.S. officials announced progress on key elements of the U.S.-China trade relationship but also underscored much more work remains to be done to open China's market to U.S. exports and investment. 

"The 23rd meeting of the [Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade] demonstrated that the U.S. and China will continue to work toward ensuring healthy and balanced growth in our commercial and economic relationship," said Blank. "We made progress [December 20], though we also recognized that there is still work to do. Among other important outcomes, we were able to address U.S. concerns relating to intellectual property and innovation, to agree on the elimination of significant regulatory obstacles that were impeding U.S. exports, and to secure meaningful steps for dealing with core issues in China's Government Procurement Agreement accession. As China continues to open its market to American exports and investment, it will benefit both of our countries." 

The U.S. and Chinese governments also signed agreements related to enhancing understanding and measurement of bilateral trade, and increasing the numbers of reverse trade missions that support China's continued development while creating more U.S. exports and jobs.