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Creation of the U.S.-China Strategic Economic Dialogue

Statement by the President

September 20, 2006

The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
(New York, New York)

For Immediate Release

I am pleased to welcome the creation of the Strategic Economic Dialogue between the United States and China. My leading economic adviser, Secretary of the Treasury Henry Paulson, will chair the U.S. side of the dialogue, with support from Allan Hubbard, the Director of my National Economic Council. Deborah Lehr will serve as Secretary Paulson’s Special Envoy to the dialogue. President Hu and I agree on the importance of maintaining strong and mutually beneficial U.S.-China economic relations, and on the need to establish an overarching bilateral economic framework between our two countries. The Strategic Economic Dialogue will help us achieve those objectives.

The economies of the United States and China have been engines of global growth. We must ensure that citizens of both countries benefit equitably from our growing economic relationship and that we work together to address economic challenges and opportunities.

 

Department of the Treasury
September 20, 2006
HP-105

The Joint Statement between the United States of America and The People’s Republic of China on the Inauguration of the U.S.-China Strategic Economic Dialogue

Today, United States and China are pleased to announce the establishment of the U.S.–China Strategic Economic Dialogue, which was proposed by the United States and agreed to by China, implementing an important agreement reached by President Bush and President Hu Jintao. U.S. Treasury Secretary Paulson is visiting China on 19-22 September to discuss the establishment of the Strategic Economic Dialogue. Vice Premier Wu Yi met with him and jointly announced its formation. President Hu and Premier Wen Jiabao will be meeting with Secretary Paulson.

Given growing economic globalization and increasing bilateral economic relations, a high level strategic economic dialogue between the United States and China will promote economic cooperation and the growth of U.S.–China relations. Its establishment will have a positive impact on world economic development as well as global economic stability and security. The dialogue will focus on bilateral and global strategic economic issues of common interests and concerns. Both sides intend to meet twice a year in alternate capitals.

Existing bilateral dialogues and consultation mechanisms, such as the Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade, the Joint Economic Committee, and the Joint Commission on Science and Technology, will remain unchanged and continue to play their positive and important role in promoting U.S.–China economic and trade cooperation.

Both President Bush and President Hu will strongly support and take an active role in the Strategic Economic Dialogue.

U.S. Treasury Department Office of Public Affairs
For Immediate Release  
September 20, 2006
Contact Tony Fratto (202) 622-2960

Fact Sheet
Creation of the U.S.-China Strategic Economic Dialogue


President George W. Bush and President Hu Jintao have agreed to create a Strategic Economic Dialogue between the United States and China.   Reflecting the growing relationship between the U.S. and Chinese economies, this dialogue will occur at the highest official levels and is the first of its kind.  Further, it will provide an overarching framework for ongoing productive bilateral economic dialogues and future economic relations.  It will examine long-term strategic issues, as well as provide coordination among the specialized continuing dialogues.  The Strategic Economic Dialogue will also be a forum for discussing ways the United States and China can work together to address economic challenges and opportunities as responsible stakeholders in the international economic system. 

The essential goal of this dialogue is to ensure that the benefits of our growing economic relationship with China are fairly shared by citizens of both countries. 

The Strategic Economic Dialogue will convene semi-annually in the United States and China, with the first meeting occurring before the end of 2006.  Each of the two Presidents will strongly support and take an active role in the strategic economic dialogue.

President Bush has designated Secretary of the Treasury Henry M. Paulson to lead the U.S. side of the dialogue. National Economic Adviser Al Hubbard and other members of the President's Cabinet will join Secretary Paulson.  Additional U.S. agencies will include Commerce, U.S. Trade Representative, State, Health and Human Services, the Environmental Protection Agency, Energy and others.  Deborah Lehr will serve as Special Envoy to the Strategic Economic Dialogue to ensure it receives the attention and continuity necessary to produce meaningful results. 

President Hu has designated Vice Premier Wu Yi to lead the Chinese side of the dialogue.  In that role, she has been given full decision making authority across all aspects of the Chinese economy.  To demonstrate the importance of the Dialogue, the Chinese government has created its largest and the highest ranking inter-ministerial working group which Premier Wu Yi will chair, supported by Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing, Finance Minister Jin Renqing, and Deputy Secretary General of the State Council Xu Shaoshi, as well as the Ministries of Commerce, Agriculture, Health, and Information Industries, the various financial regulators, the National Development and Reform Commission, the People's Bank of China and others.

The Strategic Economic Dialogue will help to ensure leaders of the two countries can address critical economic challenges facing their economies, have a forum for discussing cross-cutting issues, and can make the most productive use of the existing bilateral commissions and dialogues. Likely themes of the discussions will include: building innovative societies, seizing the opportunities of global economic integration to assure sustained growth, and the economics of energy and conservation.  The United States will also support China in China's goal of building a consumer-driven economy rooted in open markets.  The intent of this dialogue is to discuss long-term strategic challenges, rather than seeking immediate solutions to the issues of the day. 

The discussion of long-term structural issues in the Strategic Economic Dialogue will provide a stronger foundation for pursuing concrete results through existing bilateral economic dialogues and ensuring citizens of both countries benefit fairly from the growing bilateral economic relationship.  The new strategic dialogue will provide support and guidance for these existing bilateral economic forums, which will remain essential to managing specialized aspects of the interdependent U.S.-China economic relationship. These high level discussions will enhance, not diminish these existing forums.  Bilateral issues will continue to receive full attention, including pressing China for floating exchange rates, greater intellectual property rights, and increasing market access.  Existing economic and related dialogues include:

The Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade (JCCT) between the U.S. Department of Commerce, the U.S. Trade Representative, and the Chinese Vice Premier responsible for trade.
 The Joint Economic Committee between the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Chinese Ministry of Finance.
Joint Commission on Science and Technology between the U.S. Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy and the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology.
The Economic Development and Reform Dialogue between the U.S. Department of State and China's National Development and Reform Commission.
 The Energy Policy Dialogue between the U.S. Department of Energy and China's National Development and Reform Commission.
The Global Issues Forum led by the U.S. Department of State and China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The Healthcare Forum between the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Chinese Ministry of Health. 
 The Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate, which brings together China, the United States, Australia, India, Japan, and Korea.