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China, U.S. annual trade talks begin

Source:   Time:

Beijing, Dec.20 (Xinhua) -- Annual trade talks between China and the United States started on Friday in an effort to address trade frictions and build a foundation for the new model of major-power relations between the world's two biggest economies.

"This is the first Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade (JCCT) since the new Chinese and U.S. administrations took office," Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang said at the meeting.

The U.S. delegation includes U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker, Trade Representative Michael Froman and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the JCCT, an annual forum launched in 1983 for the two countries to address trade and investment issues.

"The JCCT has witnessed soaring bilateral trade, which has totalled 50 trillion U.S. dollars this year from 4 billion U.S. dollars in 1983," Wang said.

Bilateral investment has increased to 10 trillion U.S. dollars this year from 100 million U.S.dollars in 1983, Wang said.

He said the JCCT also helps build a solid foundation for the new model of major-power relations, which presidents of the two countries reached consensus on during their summit in June in California.

Wang expects the ongoing JCCT to be a friendly and mutually-beneficial meeting.

"We have the potential here today to demonstrate our two countries' ability to remove trade and investment barriers, increase openness and efficiency of our markets, and ensure the stable trade and investment relationship moves forward," Froman said at the opening session.

"Government and business leaders in the U.S. and around the world have expressed how the JCCT should play an important role in supporting shared growth and prosperity between the world's two largest economies," Pritzker said.

"As a former business leader, I believe strongly through close cooperation we can and should achieve mutually beneficial outcomes and tangible results," Pritzker said.

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