Press Releases

Remarks of Secretary Lew at the Closing Press Conference of the U.S.-China 2014 Strategic and Economic Dialogue

(Archived Content)

As prepared for delivery
BEIJING - Thank you for joining us today.
Our discussions with our Chinese counterparts over the past two days were focused on key issues of interest to both of our countries and to the global economy – including ways to boost sustainable growth and create jobs through increased trade and investment and by leveling the playing field.
Through our engagement in the Strategic and Economic Dialogue this year, we secured key commitments from China that will further implement China’s reforms. These commitments will create new opportunities and deliver concrete benefits to both our citizens, and level the playing field for American workers and firms.
We held discussions on a wide-ranging set of issues, and made a number of commitments that help further create a more open and fair economic relationship. I wanted to briefly highlight a few key areas and the concrete progress we have made that will deliver results for U.S. workers and firms.
Today, China committed to reduce market intervention as conditions permit, and is making preparations to provide greater transparency including on foreign exchange. This commitment will help accelerate the move to a more market determined exchange rate, and is central to creating a level playing field. This also reflects the increasing role and responsibility China has in promoting balanced and strong growth in the global economy.
As the fastest growing major economy, China offers substantial opportunities for U.S. businesses and workers. Addressing practices that distort trade and impede investment will help the United States further access growing markets and create jobs at home. To this end, China committed to further open up to foreign investment in the services sectors, including in the financial sector, and will accelerate the revision of its foreign investment catalogue. Building on last year’s announcement, we also agreed this week to intensify negotiations toward a high-standard Bilateral Investment Treaty and begin the process of negotiating China’s “negative list” in early 2015.  China also made new commitments to further reform its state-owned enterprises, which will help provide a level playing field for U.S. companies, including significantly increasing the amount of dividend payments that go to the government budget to support social welfare, taking measures to improve their corporate governance structures, and providing greater transparency.
We also took steps together to open energy markets to enhance energy security and promote a clean energy future for both our nations and the world. The United States and China reached an agreement on the parameters for their fossil fuel subsidies peer reviews, and to provide an update to the G-20 in November. The United States and China also signed a memorandum of understanding to increase cooperation and exchanges on transparency, data quality and policies of the China’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve. This commitment will help manage uncertainty in global energy markets, respond to future supply disruptions and reduce oil price volatility.
We also worked together on expanding opportunities for U.S. firms through promoting a more open and market-oriented financial system by expanding opportunities for U.S. financial service providers and investors, strengthening financial regulatory cooperation and continuing the development of China’s financial markets.
We also discussed the importance of strengthening the protection and enforcement of intellectual property, which is critical to promoting innovation and fair competition, and addressing trade secret theft. China committed to vigorously investigate and prosecute trade secret theft cases, to publish civil and criminal judgments, and to protect trade secrets submitted in regulatory, administrative and other proceedings.
We welcome the important commitments China made during this Dialogue. While these commitments represent real progress for the United States, for China and the global economy, we still have a lot of work to do. These discussions will continue over the next few months and for many years to come as we continue to strengthen the relationship between our two economic powers.
Now, I’ll take your questions.