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Amid Tariff Talks, Houston Strengthens Partnership With Chinese City

Representatives of Houston and Suzhou signed a memorandum of understanding during the U.S.-China Innovation and Investment Summit

Florian Martin
Houston Chief Development Officer Andy Icken, right, and his counterpart from Suzhou, Cai Jianfeng, sign a memorandum of understanding during the US-China Innovation and Investment Summit at the Westin Houston Memorial City on Tuesday, May 15, 2018.

The trade relationship between China and the United States may be strained due to new tariffs, but Houston is going the opposite way.

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Houston and the Chinese city of Suzhou on Tuesday signed a memorandum of understanding to strengthen their economic partnership.

Suzhou is a fast-growing major city west of Shanghai. Like Houston, it's putting more emphasis on innovation and technology.

"In particular, they worked on some biotechnology and other issues," Houston's chief development officer, Andy Icken, told News 88.7 after signing the MOU. "They see opportunities in the city (of Houston) for some of their companies and we'd like to help them reach out to others and meet in this sector."

It comes at a time of dueling new tariffs between the two countries, as the Trump administration aims to punish China for intellectual property theft.

This week, many U.S. companies and industry groups are testifying on the tariffs at a public hearing in Washington.

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