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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

US needs China more than China needs the US
Not one to be outdone by any adversary, Donald Trump has upped the ante in a rapidly escalating trade war with China, threatening an additional $100 billion of tariffs on top of the initial round of $50 billion. In doing so, the Trump administration is failing to appreciate a crucial reality: The United States needs China more than China needs the US.
US-China ties wobble as trade war escalates
Since China began its reform and opening-up in late 1970s, growing trade and investment ties have been a key pillar of Sino-US relations. But US President Donald Trump’s recently imposed 25 percent steel tariffs and 10 percent aluminum tariffs on China and others exporting those goods to the US is just the start of nationalist economic policies that not only strain US-China ties, but put the entire global trade regime at risk.
US to seek ’good faith’ agreements with China, says US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross
US President Donald Trump will seek "tangible" agreements on trade with China when he visits the country, but results on key issues such as market access may take longer.
The US can now ship rice to China for the first time
The rice deal comes just a month after China reopened its market to US beef imports for the first time in more than a decade and is the latest in a flurry of trade negotiations between the nations. China is also approving more biotech products and increasing US natural gas imports.
US, China fail to agree on trade issues, casting doubt on other issues
The United States and China failed on Wednesday to agree on major new steps to reduce the US trade deficit with China, casting doubt over President Trump’s economic and security relations with Beijing.
What’s at stake at China-US Comprehensive Economic Dialogue?
Experts said the upcoming dialogue will be a good chance for negotiation on a Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT).
Trump’s agricultural trade policy with China: trade-offs or trade disputes?
Biotech companies will join Cargill and Tyson as the main beneficiaries of U.S.-China agricultural trade policy.
FACTBOX-U.S.-China trade agreement impacts meats, natural gas
The United States and China have agreed to take action to expand bilateral trade in beef and chicken as well as taking other steps as part of Washington’s drive to narrow the U.S. trade deficit with China.
US and China sign trade agreement
The US and China have reached a 10-point trade deal that opens the Chinese market to US credit rating agencies and credit card companies.
Trump’s deficit crusade overshadows Xi’s investment treaty pitch
Trump wants to have something that can be delivered very quickly, whereas China hopes to push forward the BIT, which will set the framework in years to come.