Original Press Release
NAM Supports Strategic Dialogue Outcomes
Press release date: June 18, 2008
"Leveling the Investment Playing Field is Important," Says Engler
WASHINGTON, DC, June 18, 2008 - National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) President John Engler issued the following statement after the conclusion of the U.S. - China Strategic Economic Dialogue (SED) talks today:
The NAM continues to support the SED process begun by Treasury Secretary Paulson. This dialogue, while not achieving everything we had hoped, has had a positive effect on factors affecting the bilateral trade and economic relationship. We believe it has helped promote the 20 percent appreciation of the Chinese currency we have seen so far, but more attention needs to be paid to obtaining faster movement toward a market-determined yuan.
Today's announcement that negotiations will begin on a Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) is welcome. Chinese investors in the U.S. market enjoy open access and the full protection of U.S. law. U.S. investors in China face an opaque system that provides less certainty. A high quality investment treaty that would level the playing field and allow U.S. firms to have greater ability to operate in China is important.
The NAM has called for BITs with China, Russia, India, and Brazil, among others, so that U.S. companies can participate more fully in the global economy with greater certainty. The BIT negotiations with China, though, must result in a high-quality agreement that follows the "Model BIT" that has been used to guide such negotiations.
The NAM believes the treaty must include national treatment and most favored nation treatment for U.S. firms, third party arbitration of investment disputes, and other aspects of the Model BIT. The negotiations will be tough, but a watered-down agreement would not serve U.S. needs and would tarnish prospects for future agreements with other countries. Accordingly, the NAM welcomes the Administration's statement that the timetable for concluding negotiations will be determined by the quality of the agreement.
We believe that the SED should be continued by the next Administration as one part of a comprehensive approach to the bilateral relationship. We urge full use of U.S. trade laws and the WTO dispute settlement process to ensure that U.S. rights are enforced, but we also believe that continued dialogue can help resolve problems. We seek a particular focus on obtaining a market-determined Chinese currency, speeding up China's conversion from export-led growth to domestic-led growth, and obtaining effective intellectual property protection.
The National Association of Manufacturers is the nation's largest industrial trade association, representing small and large manufacturers in every industrial sector and in all 50 states. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., the NAM has 11 additional offices across the country. Visit the NAM's award-winning web site at www.nam.org for more information about manufacturing and the economy. CONTACT: HANK COX (202) 637-3090