Beijing, 29 August 2023 (TDI):  Yesterday, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo met with the Minister of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China, Wang Wentao, as part of ongoing efforts to advance U.S. commercial and strategic interests.

This meeting is a continuation of President Biden’s directive, following his meeting with President Xi in November 2022, to deepen bilateral discussions between the United States and China.

During the meeting, Secretary Raimondo emphasized the importance of maintaining open lines of communication between the two nations and took concrete steps to achieve this goal.

Both parties agreed to establish a new commercial issues working group, launch an export control enforcement information exchange, convene subject matter experts for technical discussions on strengthening the protection of trade secrets and confidential business information, and communicate regularly at the Secretary and Minister level.

The new commercial issues working group will involve U.S. and PRC government officials and private sector representatives to seek solutions on trade and investment issues and advance U.S. commercial interests in China.

The group will meet twice annually at the Vice Minister level, with the U.S. hosting the first meeting in early 2024.

The export control enforcement information exchange will reduce misunderstandings of U.S. national security policies.

The first in-person meeting will occur at the Assistant Secretary level at the Ministry of Commerce in Beijing on August 29.

Additionally, both parties launched an export control information exchange to improve communication and understanding of their respective export control systems.

Both sides also agreed to hold technical consultations to strengthen the protection of trade secrets and confidential business information during administrative licensing proceedings.

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Secretary Raimondo also discussed opportunities to promote economic exchange where it aligns with U.S. interests and values.

She underscored the importance of levelling the playing field for U.S. workers and businesses and ensuring fair and transparent treatment of U.S. companies in China.

Additionally, Secretary Raimondo reinforced the Administration’s commitment to taking necessary actions to protect U.S. national security and reiterated the Administration’s “small yard, high fence” approach.

This approach underscores that export controls are narrowly targeted at technologies with clear national security or human rights impacts and are not about containing China’s economic growth.

On the other hand, Wang Wentao expressed serious concern over certain U.S. practices, including Section 301 tariffs on Chinese exports, semiconductor policies, investment restrictions, discriminatory subsidies, and sanctions targeting Chinese companies.

He emphasized that overgeneralization of national security hinders normal trade and economic exchanges and that unilateral and protectionist measures disturb the security and stability of global industrial and supply chains.