Jared A. Favole
WASHINGTON -(Dow Jones)- Chinese President Hu Jintao will meet with chief executives from General Electric Co. (GE), Boeing Co. (BA) and Microsoft Corp. (MSFT), among others, at the White House on Wednesday during his official state visit with President Barack Obama, according to a senior administration official.
It is unclear yet what other companies will be represented but it comes as the Obama administration is trying to achieve two priorities: re-set relations with the business community, and get China to take intellectual-property protection more seriously and quicken the appreciation of its currency, the yuan. Hu's visit is expected to coincide with a series of business deals, though which companies will be involved in those agreements remains unknown.
Hu is coming to the U.S. early next week and is a chance for the two leaders to discuss a range of economic and national security issues.
Although the specifics of what Hu and Obama will discuss remain unknown, U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner seemed to lay out the U.S. negotiation position in a speech on Wednesday.
Geithner said China needs to make more progress on intellectual property-protection and yuan appreciation if it wants greater access to investment and technology in the U.S.
"We are willing to make progress on these issues, but our ability to move on these issues will depend of course on how much progress we see from China," he said.
Myron A. Brilliant, a senior vice president of international affairs at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, said the state visit is likely the "most significant" meeting between leaders of China and the U.S. in over a decade. He said he expects a series of deals and contracts to be announced during the visit, though he wouldn't specify what companies would be involved.
Brilliant said the business community wants to see Obama and Hu emerge from the state visit with a shared vision about how the countries will work together going forward on areas of intellectual property, currency and general economic policy.
He said China is a world power and needs to show a commitment to keeping its markets open to U.S. investments rather than favoring Chinese companies.
"If you want to be a global power, act like one," Brilliant said.
Overall, he said, China has made noticeable progress on the issue of intellectual property and its currency, but needs to do more.
Copyright © 2011 Dow Jones Newswires