Washington Update

March 26th, 2014
Stephanie Henry

The US has won a World Trade Organization (WTO) case against China on export restraints on rare earths, tungsten, and molybdenum -- important components in US products, including petroleum, automobiles, and certain electronics. China will have 60 days to appeal the ruling; if it chooses not to appeal, it will have a set period of time to comply with the panel’s findings.   

The case, initiated in September 2012, centered around China’s imposition of export duties, quotas, minimum...

February 28th, 2014
Stephanie Henry

The Obama Administration on Wednesday nominated Robert W. Holleyman II as Deputy United States Trade Representative (USTR) with the Office of the US Trade Representative, which leads trade negotiations and coordinates investment policy on behalf of the Executive Office. Holleyman will manage the Asia-Pacific portfolio, assuming a role formerly held by Demetrios Marantis until his departure in May 2013. Since stepping down, Marantis’ position has been filled on an acting basis by Wendy Cutler...

February 12th, 2014
Stephanie Henry

Catherine A. Novelli was confirmed unanimously today by the Senate as Undersecretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment. Novelli replaces Robert Hormats, who left the position in July 2013 for the private sector. In her new role, Novelli will be charged with overseeing State-led economic and trade-related dialogues with China.
Novelli was formerly Vice President of Worldwide Government Affairs at Apple, Inc., and has previously served for over 20 years in...

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 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....