Sino-American Maritime Accord Announced By Commerce Department

Secretary of Commerce Philip M. Klutznick has announced that the United States and the People's Republic of China have reached accord on a bilateral maritime agreement.

Terming it a historic agreement that will officially foster expanded U.S. and PRC shipping services linking the two countries, Secretary Klutznick said it also will provide further momentum to the growth of Sino- American trade.

The text of the agreement, which includes reciprocal provisions governing cargo sharing, port access, tonnage duties, and treatment of crews, was initialed in Beijing (Peking) by Samuel B. Nemirow, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Maritime Affairs, and Dong Huamin, Director of the Foreign Affairs Bureau of the PRC Ministry of Communications. Formal signing of the agreement took place in Washington recently.

"The normalization of our commercial relations with the People's Republic of China offers substantial economic benefits to both nations," Mr. Klutznick said. "This agreewill provide a firm foundation for the equitable participation by the U.S. and PRC merchant fleets in the burgeoning trade moving between our two countries." Under the cargo-sharing provisions, the U.S. and PRC fleets will each be entitled to carry at least one-third of the bilateral trade. The agreement also provides U.S. and PRC ships with accelerated access to each other's ports.

Two-way trade between the PRC and the United States totaled $2.3 billion in 1979, and is expected to reach about $4 billion this year. By 1985, annual U.S.-China trade should reach at least $10 billion, Secretary Klutznick said. The United States has been exporting to the PRC about three times as much as it imports, according to Commerce Department figures.

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