trade cooperation initiatives with the US announced in San Francisco

context: The meeting between Presidents Joe Biden and Xi Jinping 习近平 at the APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) Summit in San Francisco in November 2023 brought agreements on fentanyl, military communications and AI. While the meeting is yet to significantly improve tense PRC-US relations, it is a sign that Beijing and Washington want to maintain ties and contain their competition.

On 16 Nov 2023, Wang Wentao 王文涛 Ministry of Commerce (MofCOM) minister and Gina Raimondo US Secretary of Commerce held the first ministerial-level meeting under the communication mechanism of commerce authorities between the two countries.

According to MofCOM, the two sides 

  • discussed
    • issues of concern to enterprises of the two countries
    • national security issues in the economic and trade fields
  • agreed to hold the first meeting of the vice-ministerial working group on commerce and trade in Q1 2024
  • supported provincial and state-level economic and trade cooperation and investment promotion activities
  • shall jointly promote the
    • effectiveness of the PRC-US enterprise cooperation matching program
      • a special projects office to be established
    •  establishment of a PRC-US dialogue mechanism on standards and conformity assessment
  • discussed and agreed to hold technical discussions in January 2024 between experts from both countries on strengthening the protection of trade secrets and confidential business information in the administrative licensing process

Wang expressed to the US

  • the politicisation of national security has affected normal trade and investment 
  • concerns regarding
    • US final rule on semiconductor export control against the PRC
    • sanctions against Chinese enterprises
    • two-way investment restrictions
    • section 301 tariffs imposed by the US