The US Congress has been relatively quiet on China issues this year, but recent action in the House Ways and Means Committee and Senate Finance and Banking Committees indicates that China-related legislation is likely to resurface in 2009.
China Market Intelligence
Mark Sobel, US Department of the Treasury deputy assistant secretary, on June 30 met with companies and associations to discuss financial services sector engagement with China, India, and the European Union. The China-focused portion of the meeting served as a follow-up to the financial services-related outcomes of the fourth SED and offered expanded details on the following topics:
The United States and China made incremental progress on consumer safety issues at the fourth SED on June 17-18 in Annapolis, Maryland, but no progress was made on troublesome market access issues for meat products.
The fourth round of the Strategic Economic Dialogue (SED) yielded potentially significant advances in providing foreign companies with more regular and broader opportunities to weigh in on and shape prospective regulations that would affect their businesses. In the joint SED fact sheet, China agreed to three transparency-related points advocated by the US-China Business Council (USCBC):
Following the government reorganization plan approved by the National People's Congress in March, each of the new and restructured PRC ministries is proceeding through a formal internal review process known as the "three settings" (san ding).
US-China Business Council (USCBC) representatives, alongside counterparts from the American Chamber of Commerce in Beijing, on July 3 met with officials from the PRC Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM), State Administration of Industry and Commerce (SAIC), and Beijing Intellectual Property Task Force.
PRC government officials speaking at a USCBC event in Shanghai last week said that although visa procedures have recently been more strictly followed than in the past because of Olympic security concerns, "legitimate" business requests for visas, residence permits, and visa extensions will still receive consideration.
In a recent interview with People's Daily Online, the All-China Federation of Trade Unions (ACFTU) Grassroots Organization and Capacity Building Division detailed a renewed push to unionize the China operations of Fortune 500 companies.
With the 2008 summer Olympics just around the corner, the window for securing venue tickets, accommodations, visas, and flights is quickly closing.
For the first time since 1986, the US International Trade Commission (ITC) reached an affirmative final determination in a countervailing duty (CVD) investigation against Chinese imports. On June 20, ITC determined that US industry has been materially injured by certain imports of circular welded carbon-quality steel pipe from China.