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Citing the global importance of continued growth in trade between the United States and China, Caterpillar Inc. on January 21 called for stronger efforts to strengthen the economic relationship between the two countries. China is one of the largest export markets for Caterpillar products made in the United States, with exports to China of more than $2 billion in the last five years.
"For decades, Caterpillar has competed in markets around the world, focusing on providing customers the products and services that will make them more successful," said Caterpillar Chairman and CEO Doug Oberhelman. "As China has opened its door to international trade and investment over the last 30 years, Caterpillar has implemented its business model to serve customers in China. This business model focuses on providing customers the lowest owning and operating costs in our industry. We welcome free and fair competition – competition that makes all companies in our industry stronger and better and ultimately benefits customers."
On Friday, Caterpillar officials signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) as part of a U.S.-China Trade and Economic Forum in connection with the visit to Chicago of Chinese President Hu Jintao. The MOU outlines the importance of maintaining a positive trade environment between the Unites States and China, emphasizes how Caterpillar's exports to China support jobs in the United States and stresses that mutually beneficial trade policies will support greater U.S. exports from Caterpillar in the years to come.
"We realize there are important and substantive issues that exist between the United States and China, from currency valuations to the protection of intellectual property, and that these need to be resolved with a sense of urgency," said Rich Lavin, Caterpillar group president with responsibility for growth markets, including China. "But we also know the way we resolve disagreements is important. Caterpillar will continue to urge policymakers in both the United States and China to resolve differences in an atmosphere of mutual respect – not by threatening a trade war. We continue to believe that quiet diplomacy and multilateral forums offer a preferred path for resolving differences," Lavin added.
In recent years, Caterpillar and its independent dealers have made significant investments to expand the range of products and components produced in China, increase and improve customer support services and expand and enhance dealer coverage in every province. Today, Caterpillar has more than 7,700 employees across China at 11 manufacturing facilities, three research and development centers, nine offices and two logistics and parts centers.
For more than 85 years, Caterpillar Inc. has been making sustainable progress possible and driving positive change on every continent. With 2009 sales and revenues of $32.396 billion, Caterpillar is the world's leading manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines, industrial gas turbines and diesel-electric locomotives.