High on the agenda at the China-US Strategic and Economic Development forum is the Bilateral Investment Treaty, or BIT. Both countries have yet to complete the terms of the treaty, but an agreement would mean more openness and investment for the world’s two largest economies.
The U.S. and China are working on hammering out the details of a bilateral investment treaty. If an agreement is reached, it would mean that China would change the rules for U.S. companies operating in the country, according to China's (Xinhua) News Agency.
As it stands, China maintains ownership restrictions on U.S. and foreign companies operating in over 100 sectors including energy, agriculture and manufacturing. Such ownership barriers have prevented U.S. companies from expanding and reaching more customers in China.
Experts say finalizing the bilateral investment treaty is high on President Obama's Chinese to-do list.
Currently, the U.S. has bilateral investment treaties with 41 countries including Egypt, Turkey and Ukraine. But an agreement with China would by far be the largest.
"The importance of the BIT, it sets basic economic conditions, basic regulatory conditions for the two sides. It promotes transparency, it guarantees nondiscrimination and significantly it promotes competitive opportunity." Daniel M. Price said.
It's not just the U.S. that would benefit from such a treaty. China has a lot to gain too.
The U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Development forum has traditionally been a catalyst of driving negotiations forward. The bilateral investment treaty requires two-thirds of majority support in the Senate and experts believe the treaty will receive the political backing it needs because the benefits of increased economic cooperation between the two superpowers is vital for the success of both the U.S. and China.