U.S.-China talks could help Silicon Valley

July 27, 2009 7:15:32 PM PDT
Two days of high-level talks between the U.S. and china kicked off on Monday at the white house. The key emphasis is economic cooperation, which is a major issue for Silicon Valley.

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Both U.S. and Chinese leaders acknowledge the two countries will be the key players of the global economy in the 21st century. Despite occasional political differences, the U.S. and China have a growing dependency on each other.

China is the biggest investor of U.S. treasury debt in excess of $800 billion. With its expertise in technology and record of innovation, Silicon Valley is a major beneficiary.

Semiconductors are China's largest U.S. import, racking up sales of $128 billion last year -- far greater than imports of American iron ore and agricultural products

But when the U.S. went into recession, china's economy slowed as the appetite for imports waned. The two economies are that tightly inter wound.

"That is why we must remain committed to strong bilateral and multilateral coordination," said President Obama.

As two days of high-level talks unfold in Washington, in Silicon Valley the president of the Semiconductor Industry Association would like to see China honor American intellectual property and stop counterfeiting.

"We bring a great deal of technology to China. It's important that that intellectual property be protected so that those who invested in generating that intellectual property can take advantage of that investment. But it's also important for their economy so that it becomes a part of the fabric of their business community," said George Scalise from the Semiconductor Industry Association.

While that issue goes unresolved, Scalise says china is already working with U.S. semiconductor companies to reduce harmful emissions and energy use.

"It's in our mutual best interests to work together at all times on all issues," he said.

The great hope in Silicon Valley is as the two countries' economies recover, that China will get more aggressive about investing here -- either direct investment or joint ventures.

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