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Washington and Beijing began formal negotiations towards a bilateral investment treaty (BIT) in June 2008. A year later, the highly sensitive talks were halted until July 2013. The US is interested in getting Chinese restrictions on foreign ownership in about 100 sectors — from soybean oil and automobiles to life insurance and other financial services — lifted for US companies which want to expand their market presence there. The Chinese government is interested in getting more security for highly-scrutinised Chinese investments in the US and its massive holdings of US sovereign debt ($1.3 trillion).

In late 2013, China agreed to initiate talks on a possible BIT with the European Union as well.

July 2014

Entrepreneurs, former officials call for resuming China-US investment treaty talks
Chinese and American business leaders and former officials on Tuesday called for the China-US talks on signing a bilateral trade and investment treaty to be resumed.
USA et Chine d’accord pour négocier un traité d’investissements
Les Etats-Unis et la Chine sont tombés d’accord pour relancer les négociations sur un traité d’investissements, suspendues depuis plusieurs années en raison de l’insistance de Pékin à exclure certains secteurs des discussions.
Group urges long-term vision for US-China trade, investment
A US business group called on the United States and China on Wednesday to develop a long-term plan to address trade and investment concerns and to tackle cybersecurity threats that could undermine their relations.
Making the right choices
With imports and exports accounting for nearly half of Chinese economic output last year, trade has become an essential part of its economy and society.
China keen on free trade pact with US: Greenberg
China is eager to begin talks on a free trade pact with the United States and key leaders seem willing to step away from the state capitalism Beijing has been pursuing, a senior U.S. executive with access to China’s leadership said on Tuesday.
Wen says he’s confident of US-China free-trade deal one day
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said today he’s confident the day will come when the US and China will sign a free-trade agreement.
China, US dialogue seeks solutions to major issues
The second round of the China-US Strategic and Economic Dialogue is being held in Beijing on May 24-25.
US, China sign energy, environment accord
The US and China have signed a framework for an agreement to define cooperation on energy and environmental issues and will soon launch negotiations to reach a comprehensive investment and financial services treaty.
US, China to seek bilateral investment treaty
The US and China said Wednesday they have agreed to negotiate a treaty to protect private investment in their countries.
US, China aim for launch of investment treaty talks at bilateral meeting
Senior US and Chinese officials today launched a two-day series of talks that could result in the launch of negotiations for a new investment treaty that the US hopes would help expand US investment in China and protect existing investment.