US Trade Representative Susan Schwab said on Tuesday that the US has benefited greatly from China's rapid economic progress with its embrace of market-oriented reform and entry into the rules-based international trading system.
Addressing an event hosted by the American Chamber of Commerce, Schwab said the impact of China's decision to do so was "nothing short of breathtaking".
Over the past 20 years, China's economy has grown by nearly 10 percent a year and experienced a total growth in real gross domestic product of over 500 percent, she said.
As a result, its people have benefited greatly, with an estimated 377 million people having been lifted out of poverty.
"We are now, ourselves, major beneficiaries of China's rapid development. US manufacturers, farmers and service providers have seen US exports to China grow an average of 22 percent a year since China joined the WTO (World Trade Organization) in December of 2001, and US consumers enjoy access to a wide array of high-quality, competitively priced products."
Schwab added that few trade relationships were more important than that between the US and China.
"And while we have issues that divide us in our bilateral trade relations, we still have fundamental interests in common."
She also talked about the progress the two sides had made in resolving trading disputes and issues through "quiet" conversations.
She cited the examples of China's agreement in April to reopen its market to US beef, eliminate duplicate testing and certification requirements for imported medical equipment, and improve market access for telecommunications service providers.
In addition, China announced that its computer manufacturers would be required to install legal operating system software on all machines, and committed to close optical disc plants that produced pirated CDs and DVDs.
"These are important steps on the road to addressing a very tough IPR situation, and every step that brings tangible results counts," she said.
"These and other initiatives show that as major trading partners in a mature relationship, the US and China can work together to resolve concerns and improve commercial ties."
(Xinhua News Agency August 30, 2006)