Treasury Notes

 A Look at the 2011 U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue

By: Erika Gudmundson

On Monday and Tuesday, the third meeting of the U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue will take place in Washington, D.C. We caught up with one of the people making it all happen to get a preview of what's to come:

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Q: The next meeting of the S&ED is next week. What do you expect?

David Loevinger: I expect a few things. I expect there to be a very frank and open discussion about issues that we care about, how China is rebalancing its economy to rely less on exports, to rely more on homegrown growth and consumption. We’re going to talk about things like the exchange rate; we’re going to talk about things like leveling the playing field for U.S. goods and U.S. companies. And the Chinese are going to ask questions about the direction of our economy and ask questions about how they can increase their investment in the United States. So were going to have 16 heads of U.S. government agencies and 21 Chinese agencies represented. This is going to be a big event. We need to make sure it runs right. We’re also going to take the opportunity of the attention that the S&ED is going to put on the U.S.–China relationship to explain to the Chinese people and Americans how we view the relationship and how the Chinese view the relationship. Where we can we’re going to try to make progress on issues that are of concern to American workers and American companies who are trying to seize the opportunities that a growing China presents to create jobs here in America.

Q: You meet yearly but can you tell us about some of the stuff that goes on between the meetings?

David Loevinger: The S&ED is an important two days in the year when senior officials can get together but we’re working with our Chinese counterparts year round. We have a number of other fora that are under the S&ED umbrella such as the JointEconomic Committee, which Treasury leads, which talks about macroeconomic policies and financial policies. We have something called the Investment forum that talks about how we can create a more open investment climate for US Companies that want to do business in China and to explain how our economy and our system of laws and regulations work for Chinese companies that want to come to the U.S. and create jobs. We started this year a new forum that we’re very excited about where we’re bringing Chinese mayors and U.S. mayors together for the first time to talk about their experiences in promoting urban development and, workingwith the Department of Commerce, we’re also bringing Chinese companies together to meet with U.S. mayors to talk about how Chinese companies can invest in the United States and create jobs here in America.

Q: Last year the meeting was in Beijing, two years ago it was here, it alternates. How is itdifferent hosting it here vs. in Beijing?

David Loevinger: They are different in many ways, when you’re here you have the advantage of sleeping in your own bed, seeing your family occasionally, not being jetlagged but also when its here we have to be the host and what’s very important to the Chinese is diplomacy and pageantry and so it takes a lot of work for us.

Q: Can you say something to anyone watching this from China? David Loevinger: (in Chinese) Next week, the U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue begins. We welcome our Chinese friends. Thank you.

Posted in:  International
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