U.S., China Sign Aviation Cooperation Agreement

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Promoting beneficial trade and cooperation in aviation standards and air safety practices in China's rapidly growing aviation market are the goals of a U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) technical assistance agreement concluded today with China's General Administration of Civil Aviation of China (CAAC). The USTDA agreement, in the amount of $1,266,000, will partially fund the U.S.-China Aviation Cooperation Program (ACP), an innovative public-private initiative linking the U.S. and Chinese governments and aviation industries in a multi-faceted program to promote technical, policy and commercial cooperation between the Chinese and U.S. aviation sectors.

"I am pleased that USTDA will help lead this expanded U.S.-China partnership under the Aviation Cooperation Program," USTDA Director Thelma J. Askey stated at the signing. "With CAAC leadership, strengthening our government and industry collaboration in this critical and growing sector will provide important benefits to both our economies."

The USTDA agreement was conferred during a signing ceremony in the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill. Director Askey and Minister Yang Yuanyuan, Director of the CAAC, signed the grant agreement on behalf of the U.S. and Chinese governments, respectively. The ceremony was attended by senior U.S. and Chinese government officials, including Congressman John Mica, Congressman Jim Oberstar, Transportation Under Secretary for Policy Jeffrey Shane, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Administrator Marion Blakey, Commerce Assistant Secretary for Manufacturing and Services Albert Frink, Jr., and China's Ambassador to the United States Zhou Wenzhong. Mr. David Wang, president of The Boeing Company - China and current ACP Co-Chairman, as well as key U.S. aviation industry representatives were also present.

Chairman Mica was supportive of USTDA's continued assistance with this program and stated, "The ACP is another way in which to strengthen the aviation relationship between the U.S. and China. Since its inception last year, the ACP has increased awareness of U.S. aviation and aerospace equipment, services and air management practices, and has helped promote safer and more efficient operations in China's rapidly expanding aviation market. The ACP will become even more critical in the years ahead as China acquires more U.S. aviation and aerospace products and services to meet its substantial air transportation needs."

USTDA helped to launch the ACP with the CAAC in early 2004. The expanded program supported by today's agreement includes technical assistance provided by ACP industry members and the FAA to help establish new aircraft certification procedures in China, and a range of U.S.-based technical and managerial training for CAAC officials and its Air Traffic Management Board. The initiative will also promote a high-level dialogue between the U.S. and Chinese governments in aviation cooperation, as well as U.S. commercial interests in China's aviation sector. USTDA support for this program will be matched by an additional $2.3 million in related contributions by ACP member companies and organizations.

The U.S. Trade and Development Agency advances economic development and U.S. commercial interests in developing and middle-income countries. The agency funds various forms of technical assistance, feasibility studies, training, orientation visits and business workshops that support the development of a modern infrastructure and a fair and open trading environment. USTDA's strategic use of foreign assistance funds to support sound investment policy and decision-making in host countries creates an enabling environment for trade, investment and sustainable economic development. In carrying out its mission, USTDA gives emphasis to economic sectors that may benefit from U.S. exports of goods and services.