The U.S.-China economic relationship is arguably the most important bilateral relationship in the world today. Over the past three decades, the Chinese economy has grown by nearly 10 percent annually, recently surpassing Japan to become the world’s 2nd largest economy.
Since China joined the World Trade Organization (WTO) in December of 2001, trade between the United States and China has more than tripled, exports to China have grown at six times the pace of U.S. exports to the rest of the world, and China has risen from America’s 9th largest export market to its 3rd largest. Over the last four years, the United States and China have accounted for half of global economic growth. How this critical relationship develops and evolves will be one of the most important factors determining the growth and stability of the global economy in the 21st century.
The Forum is strongly of the view that active cooperation between the United States and China remains the most constructive means of ensuring that the citizens of both nations mutually benefit from the growing bilateral economic relationship. In particular, the Forum maintains that continued reform and modernization of China’s underdeveloped financial sector is critical to China achieving its own economic goals of maintaining high rates of growth and job creation, building a more services-based, consumer-driven economy, reducing poverty, and ensuring a more equitable distribution of opportunity and prosperity – and to successfully addressing the issues that have complicated the U.S.-China economic relationship, such as the trade imbalance and China’s currency policy. By providing the financial products and services that China’s citizens and businesses need to save, invest, insure against risk, and consume at higher levels, U.S. financial institutions can help expand a vast new market for American-made products and services, contributing importantly to faster economic growth and job creation here in the United States.
To enhance the growing U.S.-China bilateral relationship, President Barack Obama and former Chinese President Hu Jintao established the U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED) in March 2009. The annual dialogue serves as a senior level channel of communication between U.S. and Chinese policymakers and provides an overarching framework for the examination of long-term strategic issues, as well as coordination of ongoing bilateral policy discussions. The first meeting took place in July 2009, and the next S&ED meeting is scheduled for summer 2014. The Forum strongly supports the goals of the S&ED and applauds the Administration for continuing high-level engagement with China.
Additionally, the Forum is a member of Engage China, a coalition of 12 financial services trade associations united in support of high-level engagement with China, with an emphasis on greater market access and continued financial sector reform in China. The coalition maintains that one of the most critical elements of our U.S.-China relationship is financial sector reform and modernization, specifically with an emphasis on greater market-opening reforms in China, which would enable U.S. financial services companies to compete on a level playing field.