The fortunes of the US and Chinese economies are inextricably linked, now more than ever. Over the last decade, bilateral trade has increased five-fold to more than $500 billion. The United States is China’s largest trading partner and China has surpassed Mexico to become America’s second-largest partner. The total value of US investment in China was $54 billion at the end of 2011 while Chinese investment in the United States is estimated to have increased six-fold to more than $23 billion over the last five years. The large and growing volume of trade and investment between the two countries demonstrates the interdependence and complementarity of their respective economies.
It is incumbent on both governments to forge a 21st century economic agenda— one that allows the two countries to identify policies and conclude agreements that re-anchor the US-China economic relationship and shows how strengthening that relationship can benefit the global economy. A bilateral investment treaty (BIT) will be one important component of this 21st century relationship. It is also a logical place to start.
This policy memorandum explains why—and offers guidance and counsel to both sides about how to move toward an agreement.
Managing Director, Rock Creek Global Advisors
Daniel M. Price is Managing Director of Rock Creek Global Advisors, an international economic policy advisory firm, where he focuses on international regulatory and policy matters. Mr. Price is currently advising multinational companies, financial institutions, and trade associations on financial regulatory issues, policy matters arising in global forums (G8, G20, and APEC), and ongoing trade negotiations. Mr. Price co-founded Rock Creek Global Advisors in July 2011. Previously, Mr. Price served in the Administration of President George W. Bush as the senior White House official responsible for international trade and investment, development assistance, and the international aspects of financial reform, energy security, and climate change. Mr. Price was the President’s personal representative to the G8, the G20 Financial Summit, and the AsiaPacific Economic Cooperation Forum (APEC). He was US chair of cabinet-level economic dialogues with Brazil, India, and the European Union. Before and after his White House service, Mr. Price was a partner with Sidley Austin LLP, having founded and chaired the firm’s 60-member International Trade and Dispute Resolution group. Mr. Price counseled multinational companies on trade, investment, national security, and sanctions issues, and represented companies and governments in WTO, investment treaty, and NAFTA disputes. He currently serves on the Panel of Arbitrators of the World Bank’s International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes, the Advisory Board of the Atlantic Council, and the Board of Directors of the American Arbitration Association. Mr. Price has appeared on BBC, CNBC, PBS, and Bloomberg TV. His articles have been published in the New York Times, Financial Times, Washington Post, International Herald Tribune, Politico, and the Wall Street Journal. Earlier, Mr. Price served as USTR Principal Deputy General Counsel and as Deputy Agent to the Iran-US Claims Tribunal in The Hague. Mr. Price was educated at Haverford College, Cambridge University, and Harvard Law School, where he was Articles Editor of the Harvard Law Review.
Vice President, Rock Creek Global Advisors
Michael J. Smart is a Vice President at Rock Creek Global Advisors, an international economic policy advisory firm, where he focuses on international trade and investment policy, including market access and regulatory matters. Mr. Smart is currently advising multinational companies, financial institutions, and trade associations on ongoing international trade and investment negotiations, including the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and International Services Paulson Policy Memorandum
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