June 26, 2015

Meanwhile, at the U.S.-China S&ED...

This week, from June 22-24, senior Government officials from the U.S. and China met in Washington for the seventh round of the “U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED).”

The breadth of the topics covered borders on mind-numbing. 

As for the depth, well, they had a healthy 72 hours to cover everything from military relations to anticorruption; from law enforcement to disability rights; from counter-terrorism to humanitarian assistance; from disaster response to maritime matters; from illicit nuclear and wildlife transfers to climate change, energy, the environment and all things green; from Ebola to satellite collision avoidance; from earthquake and volcano studies to Korea, Afghanistan, Sudan, Iran, Syria and Iraq.

Thankfully, they also found some time to chat about commerce and trade-related matters, which took place within the so-called “Economic Track” of the Dialogue, led, on the U.S. side, by the Treasury Department. 

Yesterday, Treasury put out a fact sheet detailing the outcomes (link: http://www.treasury.gov/press-center/press-releases/Pages/jl0094.aspx). 

Let’s peek at a highlight or two.

With respect to China’s recently introduced and worrisome information and communications technology (ICT) regs in the banking sector (previously blogged about, as linked here), Treasury reported that “China committed to ensure that such bank ICT regulations will be nondiscriminatory, are not to impose nationally-based requirements, and are to be developed in a transparent manner

Further, per Treasury, “China committed to enhance policy transparency in its governance of the ICT sector, including providing opportunities for comment on draft regulations.”

And, on a related matter, specifically so-called “national security reviews,” Treasury’s Fact Sheet offered that “we stressed our strong concerns that China’s national security review is too broad in scope, considers numerous issues that go well beyond genuine national security concerns and expressly affords third parties an inappropriate role in the review process.”


One can only hope that some Ministry in China will issue its own Fact Sheet confirming that the U.S. too has committed to undo its blatantly discriminatory barriers to select foreign-based ICT vendors, to reform and make more transparent its absurdly opaque development and implementation of such policies, as well as its willy-nilly use of “national security” to stymie market access and investment.