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Focus on China commerce

SPOKANE–Trade opportunities with China are the focus of a daylong conference in Spokane Sept. 13. Sponsored by the Washington State University Asia Program, the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations, the Spokane International Trade Alliance (SITA) and the Spokane World Affairs Council (SWAC), the day will feature both private and public venues.

“The executive roundtable and the afternoon seminar are designed to give business leaders of the Inland Northwest a greater sense of the opportunities and costs of doing business with China,” said David Pietz, WSU Asia Program director and conference co-organizer. “The evening presentation is designed to present the general public with an understanding of how America’s China trade fits into the larger context of a healthy bilateral relationship with China. We must realize that a sustained and healthy trade environment between China and the U.S. is absolutely vital to the health of our respective economies and to the global economy.”

Noted experts in the field of U.S.-China relations have been invited to discuss “Managing the U.S. China Relationship,” “The Future of U.S.-China Trade,” “Opportunities and Costs: Trading with China” and “The China Trade and America’s Foreign Policy.”

Invited participants will meet for an executive roundtable discussion on the topic “The Future of U.S.-China Trade” featuring Henry (Hank) Levine, Joe Borich and Pietz.

Levine serves as the deputy assistant secretary of commerce for Asia in the International Trade Administration’s office of Market Access and Compliance. His responsibilities include the market access concerns and compliance with international trade agreements that affect U.S. companies operating in China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Mongolia and the member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

Immediately prior to joining the Commerce Department, Levine served as U.S. consul general in Shanghai, China, from 1999 to 2002. He previously had been the deputy director for economic affairs in the State Department’s Office of Chinese Affairs.

“Hank Levine has been in the front lines of trade issues with China,” said Pietz. “Much of his professional life has been oriented toward understanding the Chinese economy. In his capacity with the U.S. Department of Commerce he has been involved in discussions and negotiations with China over trade compliance issues related to market access provisions of China’s accession into the World Trade Organization.”

Joseph J. Borich, director of the Washington State China Relations Council, was previously a Foreign Service officer and most of his career was closely associated with the China field. Borich served in a China-related capacity under every president from Nixon to Clinton. His last assignment was a three year stint as consul general in Shanghai which ended in 1997. He also served as director of the Taiwan Coordination staff in the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs in the Department of State, and prior to that as the last deputy chief of mission in the former U.S. Embassy in Mogadishu.

According to Pietz, Borich’s expertise on China will assist the business community in the Pacific Northwest in understanding the often complex realities of establishing commercial and trade opportunities with China.

Levine, Borich and Pietz will present “Opportunities and Costs: Trading with China,” an afternoon seminar open to anyone interested in developing business opportunities in China.

The seminar will be held from 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the Small Business Resource Center, 801 West Riverside Ave., Spokane. The cost is $20 for members of SITA and $25 for non-members.

Levine will present an evening address titled “The China Trade and America’s Foreign Policy.” The talk is open to the public and begins at 7 p.m. at the WSU Riverpoint Campus, Spokane Academic Center, room 147.

Admission is $5 for SWAC members and students and $10 for general admission.

For more information call (509) 335-3267 or e-mail asia@wsu.edu.

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