Talking NEI in China

June 7, 2010

Francisco J. Sánchez is the Undersecretary of Commerce for International Trade

I have just returned from a trip to China where we focused on our NEI priorities through the Strategic and Economic Dialogue and a mid-year JCCT review.  These two mechanisms are central in our efforts to encourage an open, transparent, and fair trading climate within this key market.  I also visited the World Expo in Shanghai with Secretary Clinton’s delegation, and especially enjoyed my visit to the U.S. pavilion.  The pavilion is not only a showcase of American promise, but the process that led to the pavilion’s existence is its own story of the collaboration and creativity of American companies and universities. Congratulations again to all of the American sponsors of the U.S. pavilion who made it such a great success.


  1. For an alternative interpretation of the botched process that led to what the New York Times, Washington Post, and Foreign Policy agree is a US Pavilion captured by its commercial sponsors, see correspondent Adam Minter’s article in Foreign Policy, “A Sorry Spectacle”, Adam’s continuing coverage on his blog, Shanghai Scrap, and my own series of four articles in the Huffington Post including the lead article, “Blackwatering” Public Diplomacy: The US Pavilion at the Shanghai Expo.

    A request for an investigation has been filed with the State Department OIG and a Complaint is pending at the IRS regarding the US Pavilion organizers’ status as a tax-exempt organization; these documents are available online for download. (See “A Stalking Horse for Privatization?” (press release).)

    Since Commerce is involved in the allegations against the organizers, perhaps Under Secretary Sánchez might wish to review the situation. Doing so, he might arrive at another conclusion.

    • PS Secretary Sanchez was only partially correct regarding participation in the US pavilion initiative. Only one university was involved with the US pavilion, the University of Washington, and then only as a provider of its own promotional exhibition. Three states (TX, KY, HI) and two cities (San Antonio and Chicago) did the same.

      The other 60-plus participants were corporations solicited by State’s new Global Partnership Initiative in an eleventh-hour save of the US presence in Shanghai. Their funding went to a private corporation set up by insiders with State’s support; it owned the US pavilion, not the US Government. In return, the corporations basically determined the pavilion’s messaging and received exposure to as many as 8-10 million Chinese over the course of the Expo’s six months; they also got VIP access to Chinese officials at the highest level. This was not an expression of patriotism but rather of ROI.

      The Chinese Government’s substantial underwriting of the US pavilion was conducted under the table for reasons known only to the Chinese, the private corporation, and State.

  2. I sincerely look forward to the publishing of my comment as the honest opinion of an informed US and caring US citizen. I generally blog favorably about federal agencies that maintain an open mind about this affair — and conversely, negatively when they do not. I hope to continue to do more of the former. This is, after all, according to our President, an open, transparent Administration.

    • Of course, Bob, we both know that this Administration has taken the Security State to even further extremes than its illustrious predecessor. Whistleblowers are being prosecuted with sadistic zeal, most graphically illustrated in the inhumane and unconstitutional treatment of Bradley Manning (which was only tempered after a public firestorm of protest). The war against Wikileaks is far from over. And the few brave souls who have attempted to sue government torturers for damages face an incessant invocation of the state secrets doctrine in court. We have to look forward, you see, not back….

  3. I spent three years working out in Hangzhou. I couldn’t help but notice the amount of raw materials being shipped in from Africa. I suspect China is helping keep some corrupt governments in Africa in power. Does anyone else have an opinion on this? I’m all for free trade but not a human cost.

    • I think you may be right in regards to the situation with trades between Africa and China..but, I think these types of abuses are taking place for 1000’s of years..maybe it’s just the human nature, avid for power..

  4. now china became hub of e commerce business in few coming years..

  5. I generally blog favorably about federal agencies that maintain an open mind about this affair — and conversely, negatively when they do not. I

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