WASHINGTON, Nov. 22, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — Today, the US-China Business Council (USCBC) and the American Chamber of Commerce in South China (AmCham South China) issued the following statement at the start of the 26th US-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade (JCCT).

“American companies value the high-level engagement that meetings like the JCCT provide,” USCBC President John Frisbie said. “These meetings are a core part of consistent, year-round engagement between US and Chinese government leaders and are one of the principal vehicles for addressing specific commercial issues in the US-China relationship. The meetings today and tomorrow are particularly timely, since this is the first official opportunity to follow up on the outcomes of President Xi Jinping’s state visit to the United States in September. We look forward to further progress key issues for American companies doing business in China.”

Top priorities for USCBC and AmCham South China member companies include negotiating a high-standard US-China bilateral investment treaty; strengthening intellectual property protection; addressing discriminatory licensing barriers and technology preferences that favor Chinese companies versus American companies; improving regulatory transparency; further improving China’s competition policy regime; and opening China’s financial, legal, and other services sectors to American service providers.

Harley Seyedin, President of the American Chamber of Commerce in South China said, “The fact that the 26th JCCT is being held in Guangzhou for the first time signifies the importance of massive contributions that more than 2,300 members of the AmCham South China have made to the development of China.” AmCham South China is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year.

On the eve of the JCCT meetings, U.S. Secretary of Commerce, Penny Pritzker joined an event organized by AmCham South China and USCBC, in conjunction with the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai and the American Chamber of Commerce in China. The event, entitled “Celebration of U.S. – China Trade,” hosted a gathering of American companies doing business in China. This event in Guangzhou was highlighted by contract signings by the Pan Pacific Energy Company and Jovo Chemical Company; the US Smart Cities Alliance, the California Center, and Sichuan Provincial People’s Government; and Aquatech and China Coal Group. The agreements cover cooperative work in clean methanol manufacturing, water purification, and smart city development. U.S. Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade, Stefan M. Selig, and Deputy Assistant Secretary for China within the International Trade Administration, Patrick Santillo also witnessed the signings.

Also on November 22, USCBC, the US-China Agriculture and Food Partnership (AFP) and the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT) hosted the US-China Agriculture and Food Conference, focusing on cooperation between American and Chinese companies on safe and reliable food changes and food trade. AmCham South China and AmCham China also supported the program. The event featured presentations by companies from both countries on the work they are doing to advance food safety in all aspects of the food chain.

About US-China Business Council 
The US-China Business Council, Inc. (USCBC) is a private, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization of roughly 210 American companies that do business with China. Founded in 1973, USCBC has provided unmatched information, advisory, advocacy, and program services to its membership for four decades through its offices in Washington, DC; Beijing; and Shanghai.

USCBC’s mission is to expand the US-China commercial relationship to the benefit of its membership and the US economy. It favors constructive engagement to eliminate trade and investment barriers and develop a rules-based commercial environment that is predictable and transparent to all parties.

Among USCBC’s members are many well-known US corporations, but smaller companies and service firms make up a substantial portion of the overall membership. A board of directors composed of distinguished corporate leaders governs USCBC; the current chair is Mark Fields, chief executive officer of Ford Motor Company. John Frisbie has been USCBC’s president since 2004.

USCBC has long served as a host of events featuring senior officials from the US and PRC governments. In recent years, USCBC has been honored to receive CCP General Secretary and President Xi Jinping, Premier Li Keqiang, Vice Premier Wang Yang, Finance Minister Lou Jiwei, former Vice Premier Wang Qishan, former PRC President Hu Jintao, former Premier Wen Jiabao, and other distinguished guests from central and provincial government entities. Recent American figures to meet with USCBC members have included Vice President Joe Biden, Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew, Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker, US Ambassador to China Max Baucus, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, former Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, former US Trade Representative Ron Kirk, former US Ambassador to China Gary Locke, members of Congress, and numerous specialists on US-China affairs from agencies of the executive branch of government and the think-tank community.

About The American Chamber of Commerce in South China
The American Chamber of Commerce in South China (AmCham South China) is a non-partisan, non-profit organization dedicated to facilitating bilateral trade between the United States and the People’s Republic of China. Certified in 1995 by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington D.C., AmCham South China represents more than 2,300 corporate and individual members, is governed by a fully-independent Board of Governors elected from its membership, and provides dynamic, on-the-ground support for American and International companies doing business in South China. In 2014, AmCham South China hosted nearly 10,000 business executives and government leaders from around the world at its briefings, seminars, committee meetings and social gatherings. The American Chamber of Commerce in South China is a fully-independent organization accredited by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington, D.C. All AmChams in China are independently governed and represent member companies in their respective regions.

The mission of the American Chamber of Commerce in South China is to promote the development of trade, commerce and investment between the United States and the People’s Republic of China with a special focus on South China; to provide a forum in which member businesses can identify their common interests and discuss solutions for common problems; to work with and advocate member interests with relevant organizations in South China, elsewhere in China and the United States, and to set the standards for corporate social responsibility for the community that the Chamber serves.