Illinois businesses hope a meeting between the U.S. and China strengthens export opportunities for the state. Representatives from Illinois businesses met with members of the Senate U.S.-China Working Group ahead of the U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue in Beijing next month.
Caterpillar’s director of market access, John Disharoon, says there are ways that the Chinese market could be friendlier to U.S. businesses. “Intellectual property is one of the issues,” Disharoon said. “Working against state-owned enterprises, the Chinese have a tendency sometimes to take care of their own first when the rules-based trade would say take care of everybody at the same time.”
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Mike Levin, director of issues, management, and analysis for the Illinois Soybean Association, says his biggest concern is that the market for Illinois products in China continues to grow. “One out of every four rows of beans you see in Illinois goes to China,” Levin said.
According to the U.S.-China Business Council, China was the third-largest export market for Illinois in 2013, totaling $6.4 billion, and exports from the state to China were four times higher than in 2004.