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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

China to put first its investment treaty with US and other agencies
Talks on a bilateral investment treaty (BIT) will be high on the agenda during the upcoming annual Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED) between China and the United States in Washington, D.C. and the two sides could seize the opportunity to finalize the deal before U.S. President Barack Obama leaves office in January 2017, U.S. experts said.
China ’uncomfortable’ with US negative list for investment treaty talks
The US government has outlined key infrastructure, important technology and national security into its negative list where Chinese investment would not be not allowed under the proposed US-China Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT)
China, US to exchange negative lists of investment treaty talks
China and the United States are expected to exchange negative lists of bilateral investment treaty (BIT) "this month or next month," which could pave the way for substantial achievement on the negotiations in this regard in September, China’s Vice Finance Minister Zhu Guangyao said Friday.
China, US basically complete text negotiation on BIT
The Chinese Ministry of Commerce has announced the text of a bilateral investment treaty with the United States has been completed.
US expects China investment treaty talks to intensify
The United States plans to step up negotiations with China for a treaty to free up investment flows, the Obama administration said on Tuesday
Sino-US investment treaty sees major progress
China and the United States are finalizing text checks on a bilateral investment treaty and will formally exchange negative lists at the beginning of next year
China said to signal lifting ban on imports of GMO corn variety
China has told traders and officials that it approved lifting a ban on imports of a genetically-modified corn variety that’s commonly grown in the US as trade talks between the two countries begin today.
Chinese premier meets Obama, vowing to speed up BIT negotiations
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang met with visiting US President Barack Obama in Beijing on Wednesday, and both agreed to speed up efforts to reach a bilateral investment treaty.
US, China still talking on investment treaty
The US’ top trade official said in Beijing that there is more work ahead in 2015 for a US-China bilateral investment treaty (BIT)
US-China free trade could generate $460b in gains -study
Peterson Institute says a US-China FTA would generate gains of 0.6% of GDP for the US and 1.9% for China.