Today marked the conclusion of the 22nd session of the U.S.-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade (JCCT) in Chengdu, China. U.S. Secretary of Commerce John Bryson and United States Trade Representative Ron Kirk co-chaired the JCCT along with Chinese Vice Premier Wang Qishan. U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack also participated in the discussions.

Secretary Bryson, Ambassador Kirk and Secretary Vilsack announced meaningful progress on key elements of the U.S.-China trade relationship but also underscored that much more work remains to be done to open China's market to U.S. exports and investment. Today's progress will help boost U.S. exports and jobs through the removal of important barriers related to electric vehicles, strengthened measures to eliminate discriminatory indigenous innovation policies, and stricter enforcement of intellectual property rights in China.

"The JCCT gives us a mechanism to address the toughest issues in our trade relationship, and we must judge it by our ability to make concrete progress," Ambassador Kirk said. "We have reached agreement on a number of important outcomes, though we had hoped to accomplish even more. In our discussions with our Chinese counterparts, we spoke frankly about the need to redouble our efforts going forward."

"Both sides worked hard to produce some meaningful progress that will help provide a needed boost to U.S. exports and jobs," Secretary Bryson said. "This is a step in the right direction. But we must continue to actively engage our Chinese counterparts to open additional opportunities for U.S. businesses."

"China is one of the most important agricultural trade partners for the United States and the meetings and discussions in recent days have helped to strengthen this partnership and build greater export opportunities for our farmers, ranchers and growers," said Agriculture Secretary Vilsack. "We intend to continue these discussions in the months ahead on beef and other agricultural products to break down additional trade barriers so Chinese consumers can benefit from the high quality products that are produced in America."

Intellectual Property Rights (IPR)

China agreed to make a significant systemic change in its enforcement of intellectual property rights. Through a high-level central government enforcement structure led by Vice Premier Wang Qishan, China will make permanent its 2010 Special IPR Campaign. China will continue high-level involvement that will enhance its ability to crack down on intellectual property rights infringement.

In addition, China's leadership committed to increased political accountability – the performance of provincial level officials will be measured based on enforcement of intellectual property rights in their regions.

"For the first time, China will establish a permanent leadership structure to enforce intellectual property rights. As enforcement becomes effective, those who infringe will no longer be able to lay low until a crackdown is over and then simply resume their illegal activities," Secretary Bryson stated.

In addition, Vice Premier Wang Qishan personally committed to continue the software legalization program. Specifically, he committed to ensure that the provincial legalization efforts would be concluded by the middle of 2012 and at the local and municipal levels by the end of 2013.

The Chinese government also agreed to continue working to develop solutions to combat the sale of infringing goods on the Internet, while at the same time moving forward to develop additional protections for legitimate trademarks. All of China's commitments on intellectual property rights will enhance the protection of U.S. innovative products and promote job creation in the United States.