TACOMA, Wash., May 18 (Reuters) - U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said on Tuesday his main focus for U.S.-China economic talks next week was to reduce barriers for American companies seeking to export goods to China.
Geithner said in prepared remarks at the Port of Tacoma that he was concerned that China’s new “indigenous innovation” program, which would provide preferential treatment for some locally produced products in government purchases, would put U.S. firms at a competitive disadvantage.
“American companies are very concerned that this approach has the potential to discriminate against foreign-made products and could disadvantage American exporters and investors as they compete with Chinese firms,” Geithner said. “We share these concerns.”
He said the Chinese government had taken some steps to address these concerns, “but we have some more work to do in this area.”
Geithner said Obama administration officials would seek to make sure that China does more to protect intellectual property rights and reduce subsidies and other preferences to domestic firms
“We want China to give American firms the same opportunities to compete in China that Chinese firms face in the United States. This is a simple principle of fairness,” he added.
His remarks did not mention specifically the value of China’s yuan currency.
Also in his remarks, Geithner said the U.S. economy “is getting stronger” and is recovering at a more rapid pace than many had predicted and was at “the start of a Main Street recovery.” (Reporting by David Lawder)