prepared for delivery
WASHINGTON - My thanks and my compliments to Vice Premier Wang Yang, State
Counselor Yang Jiechi and his colleagues, as well as to my U.S. colleagues. Our discussions have been informative, insightful,
and sometimes direct—as discussions among friends are.
During their recent
meeting at Sunnylands, President Obama and President Xi set the framework that
defined our discussions over the last two days, emphasizing the historic
opportunity to advance U.S.-China relations in ways that promote global growth
and stability, and that leads to a more balanced and beneficial U.S.-China relationship.
The mission of the
Strategic and Economic Dialogue is to make concrete progress on the issues that
matter to each and every one of us, on both sides of the Pacific and beyond.
Over the past four
years, we have made significant advances in deepening and strengthening our
economic relationship with China.
U.S. exports to
China have doubled since early 2009, growing more than twice as fast as exports
to the rest of the world.
And the RMB exchange
rate has appreciated. As a result,
China’s current account surplus has begun to adjust, falling from a peak of
over 10 percent of GDP before this Administration took office to less than 3
percent today. While this is welcome,
more progress is needed.
It was clear from
our discussions over the past two days that China’s leaders understand that China’s
growth and development challenges of the future will not be met by China’s
growth model of the past. China’s new
leaders have turned to an ambitious set of reforms that will reorient China’s
economy towards domestic consumption, and away from exports, heavy industry,
process is in early stages.
But already we are
starting to see some positive changes, including through progress we have made
over the course of our discussions.
Let me give a few examples.
China announced its
intention to negotiate a high-standard bilateral investment treaty (BIT) with
us that will include all stages of investment and all sectors, a significant
breakthrough and the first time China has agreed to do so with another country.
We had a healthy
discussion among our senior economic officials about growing U.S. concerns with
cyber-enabled theft and the need to address this issue head on.
As part of its
broader reform agenda, China has committed to open further to foreign
investment, including through the recently-announced Shanghai Free Trade Zone
pilot for services.
China announced that
it intends to submit a revised offer to join the WTO Government Procurement
Agreement by the end of 2013, and that it will begin intensive technical
discussions with the United States this summer to ensure that its offer is
commensurate with the coverage of other GPA Parties.
China is committed
to further exchange rate reform and is actively considering joining the international
standard for public reporting of reserves data, the IMF’s Special Data
Dissemination Standard (SDDS), a standard that has played a major role enhancing
foreign exchange reserve transparency.
regulator announced that it will begin providing certain requested audit work
papers to our market regulators, an important step towards resolving a
long-standing impasse on enforcement cooperation related to companies that are
listed in the United States.
China’s leaders have indicated that they will continue to make significant
changes to the exchange rate system, the financial system, state-owned
enterprises, and the existing mix of taxes on businesses.
We welcome the
important steps that China’s leaders have taken and encourage them to follow
through on the commitments they have made.
We want China to
succeed in implementing these reforms because a prosperous China is not only
good for China but also good for the United States, and for the world as a
While today’s commitments
do not resolve all of the concerns of either side, they do represent real progress,
progress that will create new opportunities for U.S. workers and companies in
an expanding Chinese market.
Finally, I want to thank
the delegations on both sides for their candor and openness during our
conversations. Clear communication is critical
for a successful bilateral relationship. And I want to personally thank Vice Premier
Wang for his wisdom and leadership in guiding these discussions.
defending China’s interests, he demonstrated a commitment to building a
relationship based on mutual trust. I
look forward to working with the Vice Premier in the future, and with his
colleagues to continue the good progress we have made here.
Thank you very much.