Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner lead senior level discussions today at the third round of the U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED) in Washington.
The meeting brings together the heads of 16 U.S. government agencies and 20 Chinese government agencies to discuss economic issues of concern to both countries. The senior level meeting will likely include discussions on China's currency, which has been criticized by U.S. policy makers for being undervalued by 15 to 40% according to some estimates.
At a State Department briefing last week, Executive Secretary for the S&ED David Loevinger said, "We are going to press China to let its exchange rate adjust at a faster pace to correct its still substantial undervaluation."
Additional topics are expected to include Chinese concerns over U.S. debt levels and discussions surrounding a recent report by Standard & Poor which gave a negative outlook on the AAA credit rating of the United States. Other agenda items may include U.S. interests over the protection of intellectual property rights in China due to high levels of unauthorized copying of movies, music, clothing and luxury goods.
Senior level members of both delegations are also scheduled to meet with President Obama at the White House to discuss the importance of the meeting between the two countries. In addition to high level government talks, a meeting between U.S. and Chinese CEOs is scheduled for tomorrow to receive insight from business leaders. The S&ED priorities will likely dominate future policy debates as the world's two largest economies seek to enhance their bilateral economic relationship.