Washington Update

February 6th, 2014
Stephanie Henry

The Senate voted unanimously today to confirm Senator Max Baucus (D-MT) as Ambassador to China. Baucus will assume the role currently held by Ambassador Gary Locke, who is set to step down March 1.

Baucus has been actively engaged on trade issues during his three decades in the Senate, particularly in his role as chairman of the Senate Finance Committee. He has traveled to China eight times to discuss trade and commercial issues and has been a vocal advocate for Montana beef and other...

February 4th, 2014
Stephanie Henry

The Senate Committee on Foreign Relations today unanimously approved Senator Max Baucus’ (D-MT) nomination to be US ambassador to China. While no date has been set for consideration of his nomination by the full Senate, media reports suggest the vote will take place before the end of the week. Baucus’ nomination is not expected to face opposition in the full Senate. Baucus will succeed current Ambassador Gary Locke after Locke departs on March 1.
 
For more on Baucus’ views and...

January 28th, 2014
Stephanie Henry

In his confirmation hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee today, Senator Max Baucus (D-MT) said he would focus on “positive, cooperative, and constructive” ways to promote US-China trade and reduce regional tensions if confirmed as ambassador to China. He said this strategy had already “paid dividends,” such as China’s commitment to negotiate a Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) based on a US approach. Baucus is widely expected to be confirmed by the committee and full Senate...

January 24th, 2014
Stephanie Henry

The United States, China and 12 other World Trade Organization (WTO) members announced on January 24 they would begin work towards reducing tariffs on environmental goods, such as solar panels, wind turbines, and other green technologies. The talks represent the latest multilateral effort involving China aimed at reducing trade barriers for goods and services in global markets. Other recent multilateral negotiations involving China have not progressed significantly; negotiations over the...

January 14th, 2014
Stephanie Henry

The US-China Business Council today called on the White House and congressional leaders to oppose counterproductive language expected to be included in 2014 fiscal year appropriations that bars the Departments of Commerce and Justice, NASA, and the National Science Foundation from purchasing information technology (IT) systems from China without first conducting a cyber-espionage or sabotage risk assessment. The letter states that the rule “does little to improve the security of the US...

January 13th, 2014
Stephanie Henry

The United States will seek consultations with China in the World Trade Organization (WTO) over China’s compliance with an earlier WTO panel decision on US grain oriented flat-rolled electrical steel (GOES) exports, according to US Trade Representative Michael Froman. That case – which the United States won on appeal in October 2012 – challenged China’s imposition of anti-dumping (AD) and countervailing duties (CVDs) on US steel exports; China was given until July 2013 to become compliant...

January 8th, 2014
Erin Ennis

The Obama administration today formally nominated Senator Max Baucus (D, MT) to be the next US Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China. Once confirmed, Baucus will succeed Ambassador Gary Locke, who has served in the position since 2011.
 
Baucus has been actively engaged on trade issues during his three decades in the Senate, particularly in his role as chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, and has traveled eight times to China to discuss trade and commercial issues. He...

November 8th, 2013
Stephanie Henry

Today the US-China Business Council (USCBC) said that China has made important progress in opening-up its market since acceding to the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2001, but still has many challenges left to address in order to achieve a fair and equitable market-place for foreign investors. 

In written testimony to the interagency Trade Policy Staff Committee, USCBC stated that while China is often in compliance with the letter of its WTO commitments, it falls short of the...

October 31st, 2013
Stephanie Henry

The US Treasury Department declined to label China a currency manipulator in its latest Semi-Annual Report to Congress on International Economic and Exchange Rate Policies, released on Wednesday, but acknowledged China’s currency remains “significantly undervalued.” In its report, Treasury noted that China's real exchange rate has appreciated 12 percent against the US dollar since June 2010, and by 45 percent against the dollar since 2005. However, the report states that there is “evidence...

October 9th, 2013
Stephanie Henry

The Senate US-China Working Group, co-chaired by Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL) and Senator Mazie Hirono (D-HI), met on Tuesday with China Ambassador Cui Tiankai to discuss the bilateral commercial and economic relationship, as well as military cooperation and people-to-people exchanges. In a statement on the meeting, Senator Kirk announced that the working group – which will be formally launched this fall – will serve as a forum for dialogue between the Senate and Chinese government leaders....

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