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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

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.
China offers concessions to avert trade war with U.S.: FT
China is prepared to raise the investment ceiling in the bilateral Investment treaty and is also willing to end the ban on U.S. beef imports.
U.S., China rushing investment treaty at end of Obama term
Negotiations on the proposed bilateral investment treaty, BIT as it is commonly known, are continuing at an accelerated pace, with new rounds only two weeks apart.
US-China investment treaty faces uncertainties
Completion of BIT talks should wait after the election: experts
China-U.S. BIT talks make significant progress: MOC
Negotiations on a bilateral investment treaty (BIT) between China and the United States have made significant progress, the Ministry of Commerce (MOC) said.
New report weighs pros, cons of U.S.-China BIT
A U.S.-China bilateral investment treaty could significantly increase investment flows between the world’s two largest economies.
China-U.S. dialogue makes progress in BIT talks, overcapacity, RMB trading
China and the United States have made incremental progress in accelerating bilateral investment treaty talks
China misses deadline for ’negative list’ investment offer to U.S.
Chinese officials have missed their own deadline to submit a new offer for a proposed investment treaty that would shrink the number of sectors closed to American investors