Cantwell Releases Statement After Meeting with President Xi, Chinese Delegation

President Xi to promote Cantwell idea for reverse trade mission

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) released the following statement after meeting the president of China. Earlier this week, as ranking member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, she led a group of Democrats in introducing the American Energy Innovation Act, a technology-driven bill that creates the incentives, programs and certainty to more easily achieve climate change goals.

“Today, I joined key senators to speak with President Xi and the Chinese delegation to move the dialogue forward on our joint effort to develop clean energy technologies in the fight against climate change. The agreement between President Obama and President Xi is a historic step toward a clean energy future and opens the doors to a productive conversation at the Paris climate talks later this year.

“During their trip, China committed to establishing a green dispatch system that gives priority to renewable energy, developing new heavy-duty vehicle fuel efficiency standards, and making sure 50 percent of new buildings in urban areas will meet green building standards by 2020.

“U.S. companies, and Washington state in particular, have the technologies, goods, and services to help China meet its goals. I called on President Xi to send a reverse trade mission to the U.S. to explore U.S. goods and services related to climate change that could help China meet its goals. President Xi agreed to promote the idea when he returns to Beijing.  This will not only help meet climate change goals, but it will also be good for our economy and grow American jobs.  Over the next two decades, China is expected to invest $2.8 trillion in renewable energy and energy efficiency.

“Through constructive bilateral dialogue, the U.S. and China can make a meaningful impact in the efforts to combat climate change.

“I’m also pleased to see the United States and China reach an agreement on cybersecurity and protecting intellectual property.  It will be important to make sure the commitments are kept under this agreement. The U.S. and China should lead the global community toward the establishment of a multilateral, international agreement on cybersecurity.”

In 2006, Senator Cantwell led a delegation of U.S. business leaders on a trip to China, where she delivered a keynote address to American and Chinese business leaders in Beijing. She highlighted China’s potential as a growing market for new renewable fuel technologies developed in the Pacific Northwest. Since then, Senator Cantwell has focused on promoting relations with China through trade and positive engagement.

China will account for about half of the new construction globally in the coming decade. Its floor space doubled from 1996 to 2011. Building energy consumption has also grown, increasing by over 40% since 1990. Combined, this growth in building, along with the policies to promote green construction, are creating a large market for energy efficiency products and services.

China has the largest renewable energy market in the world. In 2014 alone, China invested over $80 billion in renewable energy.