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US to Work Toward China's Market Economy Status

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The United States will cooperatively consult through the China-US Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade (JCCT) to work toward China's market economy status in an expeditious manner, according to a fact sheet released on Wednesday.

The joint fact sheet of the first China-US Strategic and Economic Dialogue's Economic Track came about one week after the conclusion of the dialogue, which was held in Washington DC from July 27 to 28.

The United States recognized the continued progress China had made in its market reforms and would "earnestly consider China's concerns," said the statement.

The two sides were among the beneficiaries of and participants in the global trading system, and both were committed to working for a more open global trade and investment system and jointly fighting protectionism, it said.

The two countries also agreed in the statement on calling on all other WTO members to work together for an ambitious and balanced conclusion to the Doha Development Agenda in 2010.

They also reaffirmed that, at a time of economic uncertainty, the ongoing Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) negotiations, could contribute to the implementation of G20 Summit commitments to an open global economy.

As to promoting trade and investment, China would further decentralize approval authority and streamline approval procedures for foreign investment, including by raising the threshold for central government review.

China agreed to commit itself to the implementation of the Generally Accepted Principles and Practices governing Sovereign Wealth Funds, according to the statement.

The United States confirmed that the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) ensured the consistent and fair treatment of all foreign investment without prejudice. And it reaffirmed its commitment to the open and non-discriminatory principles for recipients of sovereign wealth fund investment as identified by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

In addition, the two countries agreed to accelerate the implementation of "Guidelines for China-US High Technology and Strategic Trade Development" and swiftly formulate the Action Plan on Expansion of China-US High Technology and Strategic Trade Cooperation in Priority Sectors.

The two recognized the importance of non-discriminatory government procurement policies. To that end, they agreed to strengthen their cooperation in order to accelerate China's accession to the WTO Government Procurement Agreement, which would include China's submission of a report setting out the improvements that China would make in its revised offer. The submission will be handed to the WTO Government Procurement Committee before the Committee's meeting this October.

According to the statement, China is also committed to treating products produced in China by foreign-invested enterprises the same as products produced in China by Chinese enterprises, under its Government Procurement Law.

The United States confirmed that products produced in the United States by an enterprise established in the United States will be treated under its procurement regulations as domestic products regardless of the ownership of the enterprise.

Both sides also recognized the importance of trade financing for accelerating sustainable economic growth, in which area the two Export-Import Banks would continue to cooperate.

According to the statement, the two countries would also strengthen their cooperation on anti-money laundering, countering the financing of terrorism and counterfeiting.

The dialogue, jointly launched by Chinese President Hu Jintao and President Obama during their meeting in April in London, is considered as a way to show the importance of China-US cooperation under the new circumstances.

(Xinhua News Agency August 6, 2009)