U.S.- China Trade Conference Yields Green Agreements
The U.S. and China recently concluded the 21st session of the U.S.-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade (JCCT) in Washington, D.C with some significant agreements about smart grid technology and wind power.
The JCCT was co-chaired by U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke and U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk along with Chinese Vice Premier Wang Qishan. Since 1983, the JCCThas been the main forum for addressing trade issues and promotingcommercial opportunities between the U.S. and China.
Recently, China has been implementing a series of "indigenousinnovation" policies that favor Chinese companies over foreign companies – including American businesses – in a wide variety of industries,including alternative energy.
These policies establish government procurement preferences forproducts made with Chinese-developed and -owned intellectual property.The JCCT made progress on helping American businesses gain access to the Chinese market, specifically in the areas of smart grid technology andwind power.
Between 2011 and 2020 China plans to invest US$10 billion a year toconstruct a national smart grid system. It will also invest US$590billion in building its electric power grid. At the JCCT, China agreed:
- To ensure that processes for developing the country’s smart gridstandards are open and transparent; to provide opportunities for foreign businesses to participate in the development of standards on equalterms with Chinese companies; and to base its standards on relevantinternational standards. China also welcomed the chance to collaboratewith the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology indeveloping its smart grid standards.
- To ensure that all Chinese enterprises, including state-ownedenterprises, will make purchases and sales only based on commercialconsiderations.
China further committed that it will leave these decisions tocommercial considerations between the companies. Additionally, it willprovide equal treatment to foreign businesses, foreign-investedbusinesses, and Chinese businesses.
The renewable energy market in China is predicted to be $100 billionby 2020. Wind energy is country’s the fastest growing renewable energysector. At the JCCT, China confirmed:
- It will recognize foreign companies’ experience outside China sothese companies can meet experience requirements in order to provideequipment for large scale wind power projects.
- That foreign businesses can submit documentation about existingoverseas wind power projects so as to demonstrate technical requirements for supplying Chinese wind power projects.
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