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May 24, 2007

Secretary Gutierrez Supports Tourism Deliverable from Strategic Economic Dialogue with China

At the conclusion of the second Strategic Economic Dialogue (SED II) with China this week in Washington, DC, Secretary of the Treasury, Henry M. Paulson, Jr., announced three deliverables aimed at increasing market access between the United States and China.

  • Air Services Liberalization: The United States and China committed to expand the existing bilateral aviation agreement through liberalization of air services rights. This new accord provides for a doubling of daily passenger flights from the United States to China by 2012, starting with the addition of a new daily flight this year. The agreement also will provide U.S. cargo carriers with virtually unfettered access to Chinese markets by lifting all government-set limits on the number of cargo flights and cargo carriers serving the two countries by 2011. U.S. and Chinese officials have committed to resume negotiations in 2010 to establish a timetable to achieve the mutual objective of full liberalization.
  • Promoting Growth in the Tourism Industry: The United States and China signed a declaration of intent to launch negotiations to facilitate Chinese group leisure travel to the United States. The Chinese travel market is expected to grow to 100 million travelers within the next 15 years according to the United Nations World Travel Organization. Allowing tourism companies to arrange trips for Chinese travelers to the United States is a significant step, given that one in seventeen jobs in the United States is related to the tourism industry.
  • Expanding U.S. Exports: The Export-Import Bank of the United States and the Export-Import Bank of China signed a memorandum of understanding that will provide loan guarantees for the export of large-scale capital goods from the United States to China, supporting U.S. export jobs and promoting China's sustainable development.

In support of these outcomes from SED II, Secretary of Commerce Carlos M. Gutierrez said “competition will sharpen Chinese industry will giving U.S. companies the opportunity to bring goods and services to millions of Chinese consumers.  We agree that accelerating discussions to develop travel and tourism will provide further opportunities for one of the nation’s most important services exports and most important employers.”

Total travel to the United States from China (not including Hong Kong) was up 19 percent in 2006 over 2005, with 320,450 arrivals.  Total receipts of Chinese travelers in the United States have grown annually by double digits since 2004, with spending in 2006 reaching nearly $1.9 billion dollars, a 30 percent increase over 2005 totals.  The Forecast of International Travel to the United States, developed by the Department of Commerce and Global Insight, estimates a 61 percent growth in arrivals from China to the United States between 2006 and 2011.  This is by far the largest growth projection of any of the source markets to the United States.

For a Fact Sheet on the full SED II outcomes, please go to: http://www.ustreas.gov/press/releases/hp417.htm

In a related environment, discussions are on going with the Department of Transportation, Department of Homeland Security and other federal agencies and agencies of the Chinese government to expand air service between the two nations.  For additional information, please see: http://www.airlines.org/news/releases/2007/news_5-23-2007.htm.

For additional information and background on travel to and from China, please refer to the following:

Top 50 Markets for International Arrivals to the United States:

Forecast of International Travelers to the United States, 2005-2011

To see the Commerce profile on Chinese visitors to the U.S., go to: https://travel.trade.gov/view/f-2005-450-001/index.html

World & U.S. International Visitor Arrivals & Receipts

U.S. Extends Visa Validity for Chinese Tourist & Business Travelers:  http://tinet.ita.doc.gov/outreach/mou_visa.html

The Office of Travel and Tourism Industries publishes visitation data for more than 200 countries that generate visitors to the United States, as well as visitation data for each world region .To learn more about international visitation and visitor spending in the United States, access the 2006 data tables, and to read additional analyses of these data, please visit: http://tinet.ita.doc.gov/outreachpages/inbound.general_information.inbound_overview.html