U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Chinese Vice Premier Wu Yi meet Tuesday, May 22 in Washington for another round of talks on trade, energy, and the environment. CNBC.com will carry key aspects of the event, starting with the opening statements at 9:15 a.m. EDT. (See complete coverage below)
The talks come as the U.S. continues to pressure China to allow its currency to float freely on world markets. China’s government raised interest rates and the amount its currency can appreciate Friday. The currency issue is closely tied to trade tensions between the two countries.
China's yuan has appreciated by some 7% since July 2005, but U.S. lawmakers say the currency is still undervalued, making Chinese exports artifcially cheap. As a result, the U.S has been running an enormous trade deficit with China. In the first-quarter alone, the gap was $57 billion. In 2006, it was a record $232.5 billion.
Given China's stunning double-digit economic growth in recent years, the U.S. -- as well as other countries -- want to tap the demands of a growing consumer class there, selling anything from cars to financial services.
On the other hand, China has been making strategic investments in the U.S. for years and American firms actively court its capital. China, for instance, is set to acquire a $3 billion stake in U.S. private equity firm Blackstone Group.
Since a round of trade talks in December, the U.S. filed two complaints with the World Trade Organization against Chinese copyright piracy and barriers to U.S. music, movies and books. In March, the U.S. imposed duties on Chinese imports for the first time in more than two decades.
Tune into CNBC.com for live coverage:
9:15 a.m. EDT- Opening Statements
11 a.m. EDT- Joint Closing Statements
11:45 a.m. EDT - U.S. Delegation News Conference