As prepared for delivery
BEIJING - I would like to express our appreciation to
President Xi, Vice Premier Wang, Councilor Yang, and their colleagues for
welcoming us to Beijing. I would particularly like to thank Vice Premier
He champions China’s interests while working intently on building a positive,
cooperative, and comprehensive bilateral economic relationship with the United
Since the United States and China first established diplomatic relations 35
years ago, the economic relationship between our two countries has grown beyond
what anyone could have imagined in 1978. U.S.-China trade exceeded $520
billion last year, 200 times trade at that time, which was less than $3
billion. We meet for the sixth round of the S&ED with the common goal of
advancing economic opportunities for our workers and companies.
As the world’s two largest economies, we both depend on an open global trading
system in which workers and companies can compete on a level playing field.
It is in our shared interest to foster productivity growth through
research and innovation, to protect intellectual property, preserve open
markets, and to build a more stable global financial system that is less prone
In their historic meeting at Sunnylands last June, President Obama and
President Xi agreed to build a bilateral relationship defined by practical
cooperation on areas of mutual interest while constructively managing
differences. Their commitment marked an important inflection point in the
U.S.-China relationship—a chance to work together to establish rules of the
road that will mutually benefit our two nations, the Asia-Pacific region,
and the global economy.
It is the responsibility of great nations to rise to this challenge and I am
confident that both countries have the necessary agility and resolve to achieve
the vision of our two Presidents.
In the United States, the U.S. economic recovery has continued to strengthen in
2013. Over the past 52 months, American businesses have created over 9.7
million new jobs, the longest period of job growth in our history. And
June’s employment numbers mark the first time since January 2000 that we have
seen total job growth above 200,000 for five straight months.
The expansion is expected to strengthen further this year as private-sector
demand increases, fiscal drag lessens, and household balance sheets and the
housing market continue to improve. Of course, the great recession was deep,
and there is still work to do, but we continue to see a strengthening recovery
in the United States.
Our economy and our people have once again proven their resilience and
China is in the process of undertaking major economic reforms, recognizing that
future economic growth requires a fundamental shift in economic policy, as laid
out in the Third Plenum in November of last year.
We welcome this commitment and China’s economic growth. A prosperous China that
grows in a way that is consistent with international rules and norms will
contribute to the strong, sustainable and balanced growth of the global
We support China’s efforts to allow the market to play a more decisive role in
the economy and rely more on household consumption to drive China’s economic
growth. Moving to a market-determined exchange rate will be a crucial
step. And we look forward to working with China as it deepens financial
reforms and becomes more integrated into the global financial system.
The United States and China combined comprise almost half of the world’s GDP.
The U.S.-China bilateral relationship will, in large part, help shape the 21st
century, and it is critical for us to continue building on our areas of
economic cooperation and working together to tackle our challenges. We do not
always agree, but our strong common interests are far more important than the
individual challenges that we confront as a part of our overall bilateral
The Strategic and Economic Dialogue has led to important, tangible results for
both sides, and I am sure that we will continue to make concrete progress
during this sixth round.
We look forward to working diligently, cooperatively, and sincerely over the
next two days as we address the challenges that we face.