The US-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade met in the building of Baker & McKenzie in Chicago today as part of its annual session to foster trade and business partnerships between the two countries.
Speakers at the afternoon luncheon, organized by World Business Chicago, included US Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker, US Trade Representative Michael Froman, Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. Also in attendance were CEOs of major Chinese and American companies, as well as other high-ranking former government officials.
The speakers described a “reimagined” JCCT, meeting outside Washington, DC for the second time in its 25-year history, and including voices from the private sector as well as the public sector.
Here are key takeaways:
- Mr. Froman said the commission aims to discuss opening markets, protecting IP rights, fostering innovation and promoting investment between the US and China.
- Ms. Pritzker described Chicago as a “true hub” of domestic and global commerce, home to 1,800 foreign companies from 45 countries, and a fitting location for this year’s JCCT meeting.
- “The city has been strengthened because of its deep connection to China, Chinese businesses and the Chinese people,” Ms. Pritzker said, saying Chicago is a “proverbial bridge” between the two countries.
- The mayor noted that today’s JCCT gathering comes one year after he traveled to China to sign economic partnerships with eight of China’s largest cities. Discussing Chicago’s connection to China, the Mayor said nearly one-third of China’s air cargo comes into Chicago.
- Mr. Yang, visiting Chicago for the first time, said that Chicago is a favorite destination for Chinese investors, and mentioned Lenovo’s purchase of Motorola Mobility, as well as Wanda Group’s plan to invest $900 million in a Chicago high-rise, reported The Chicago Tribune.