Chicago, IL—In response to the announcement today by the United States and China to renew trade negotiations, made during the fifth annual U.S.-China Strategic & Economic Dialogue, Henry M. Paulson, Jr. issued the following statement. Paulson founded the dialogue with China as Treasury Secretary in 2006. Today, he is Chairman of The Paulson Institute, a non-partisan institution focused on the economic and environmental relationship between the United States and China.
“I welcome the news that the United States and China are moving toward substantive negotiation of a Bilateral Investment Treaty. Our relationship needs that kind of affirmative agreement, and soon.
“A BIT isn’t just a statement of principles or a set of abstract commitments agreed to at a bilateral dialogue. It is a legally-binding treaty that would extend needed investor protections to both American and Chinese businesses. For American businesses that want more access in China, a BIT would help level the playing field and assure access by eliminating discriminatory policies and practices. Chinese direct investment would also help support or even create American jobs. For Chinese investors that want a more predictable environment for direct investment in the United States, a BIT would extend important protections as well. China needs economic reforms and more commercially oriented firms. And like the WTO in the 1990s, negotiation of a BIT could help encourage the very domestic reforms in China that, ultimately, can help expand its market and make our economies more complementary.
“I encourage both sides to seize this opportunity and make rapid progress.”