Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) met with Chinese Commerce Minister Chen Deming yesterday, urging him to resolve several persistent issues in the U.S.-China economic relationship, including China's infringement of intellectual property rights (IPR) and unscientific restrictions on U.S. beef exports. Baucus met with Minister Chen in Big Sky, Montana, at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) trade summit, a meeting of the 21 APEC member economies held annually to strengthen trade relations across the Pacific region.
"We hope to continue to strengthen our relationship with China at this trade summit, so now is the time to resolve these issues and move forward," said Baucus. "These issues are more than just rhetoric; they have real consequences -- costing jobs and slowing our economy. China's unscientific restrictions on U.S. beef put American ranchers at a marked disadvantage, and it is time for them to end. China's violations of intellectual property rights cost the U.S. millions of jobs and billions in economic activity. China represents a great opportunity for American ranchers, farmers and manufacturers, but shared prosperity requires both sides to play by the rules."
Baucus urged Minister Chen, who leads China's international trade policy, to resolve critical issues impeding the U.S.-China economic relationship. A report Baucus released earlier this week showed that China's IPR violations alone cost the U.S. 2.1 million jobs and $48 billion in economic activity in 2009.
Baucus stressed that strengthening protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights will help both countries' economies prosper. He also asked Minister Chen to remove China's unjustified and unscientific restrictions that have blocked imports of Montana beef. Baucus traveled to China last fall and met with Chen, among several other Chinese leaders, to discuss these and other trade issues.
APEC is a group of 21 member economies that joined together to facilitate economic growth, cooperation, trade and investment in the region. Together, these economies represent more than half of the world economy and over 40 percent of world trade. In 2009 alone, U.S. goods, services, and agriculture exports to the APEC region totaled about $1 trillion. Baucus has been actively working to help achieve APEC's goal of making trade in the region 25 percent cheaper, faster, and easier by 2015, noting in particular how important that reduction would be for small businesses in Montana and across the country.