ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - U.S. officials say an agreement has been
reached with China to begin negotiations on an investment treaty.
The announcement comes as the two nations wrap up two days of
high-level talks in Annapolis, Maryland. Treasury Secretary Henry
Paulson and China's vice premier are leading the delegations.
An investment treaty with China could greatly expand
opportunities for U.S. companies in China's fast-growing economy.
U.S. firms currently face a multitude of barriers to doing business
in the country.
However, Bush administration officials stress that the
negotiations are likely to be lengthy and intense. Preliminary
discusions about beginning the negotiations took 17 months.
The two countries also are announcing other agreements in areas
such as energy security and lowering global pollution. An agreement
is also expected on expanded food monitoring in the aftermath of a
series of recalls of Chinese products over the past year.