CHENGDU, China — The 22nd session of the US-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade (JCCT) concluded on Nov. 21 in Chengdu, China. US Secretary of Commerce John Bryson, US Trade Representative Ron Kirk and US Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced meaningful progress was made on key elements of the US-China trade relationship during discussions with Chinese Vice Premier Wang Qishan. However, much more work remains to be done to open China's market to US exports and investment, according to officials.

"China is one of the most important agricultural trade partners for the US and the meetings and discussions in recent days have helped to strengthen this partnership and build greater export opportunities for our farmers, ranchers and growers," Vilsack said. "We intend to continue these discussions in the months ahead on beef and other agricultural products to break down additional trade barriers so Chinese consumers can benefit from the high quality products that are produced in America."

USDA and China's Ministry of Agriculture are finalizing the framework of a five-year strategic plan focused on food security, food safety and sustainable agriculture to build a stronger foundation for critical cooperation in agriculture. In discussions also including the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine, progress was made on beef market access. Parties agreed to expand discussion beyond technical to the conditions that include scope of products available in the market. China also committed to make progress on removing avian influenza-related bans affecting several US states.

Established in 1983, the JCCT is the main forum for addressing bilateral trade and investment issues and promoting commercial opportunities between the US and China.