The Bay Area Council looks forward to open and productive talks between President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping when they meet tomorrow in California to discuss the relationship between our two countries.

“The future of the United States and China are inextricably linked and have major implications for California’s economic future,” said Jim Wunderman, President and CEO of the Bay Area Council. “California as the U.S. gateway to the Pacific Rim is one of the nation’s top trading partners with China and looks to China as a vital partner in growing the state’s exports and creating opportunities for investment. Establishing free and open trade between our two countries can create jobs and lead to economic growth for decades to come.”

Obama’s meeting with Xi comes a little over a month after the Bay Area Council, in its role operating the California-China Office of Trade and Investment, organized a trade and investment mission to China led by Governor Jerry Brown. The eight-day trip included more than 90 top business, economic development and government leaders, made stops in four cities and announced a series of trade and investment deals totaling billions of dollars. The visit also included the official opening of California’s first trade office in China in 10 years and meetings with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and many other top government officials.

Growing trade and investment with China for years has been a lead priority for the Bay Area Council, which operates its own offices in Shanghai and Hangzhou.

In advance of tomorrow’s summit, Bay Area Council President and CEO Jim Wunderman has authored an article calling for the two world leaders to include among their discussion points the negotiation of a formal free trade agreement between the U.S. and China.

Read Jim Wunderman’s article promoting a U.S.-China free trade agreement.