US Commerce Secretary quizzed on export policies

16:52, May 21, 2010      

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U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke addresses students from Tsinghua University. (Photo: Chinanews.cn)

The U.S. welcomes investment from China and will ease export controls, said U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke in an address to students at China's Tsinghua University today.

Chinese university students quizzed Gary Locke about U.S. export controls, the prospects for climate legislation, Chinese investment and whether he may run for president one day.

"The United States and China have had many, many common issues for many years," said Gary Locke. "We all in the world will benefit from the better quality of life and innovations coming out of China."

"What a lot of people don't realize is most of the goods that are exported to China are not even subject to controls ... and only in a few cases are things not allowed to be exported" when licenses are sought, Locke said.

He has criticized the current U.S. rules restricting high-tech exports as an artifact of the Cold War and called for their overhaul so that more countries can buy American "dual-use" equipment, which can have both military and civilian uses.

Ma Xiuhong, vice minister of China's Ministry of Commerce, said during talks with Gary Locke yesterday that the export restrictions would "be a barrier for the two countries' cooperation in clean energy and other fields."

The two countries have a plan to allocate 150 billion U.S. dollars for further research and development in the clean energy field, Locke said.

In 2001, products from the United States accounted for 18.3 percent of China's total imports of high-tech products, but the proportion dropped to only 7 percent in 2008. U.S. export restrictions are partly to blame for the huge trade surplus with the United States

Answering a student's question towards Chinese companies' investment in the United States, Locke said that investment from overseas is welcomed in the United States, and only a very small amount of the cases concerning state security are turned down.

Chinese Vice Premier Li Keqiang met with Locke's delegation of business executives from 24 clean-energy companies and sounded a positive note yesterday.

"I'm sure the visit will lay the foundation for the possibility of winning a big deal in the clean energy field and securing market proportions in China," Li said.

By People's Daily Online

(Editor:祁澍文)

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