China seeks to smooth trade ties with United States after Donald Trump’s threat to restrict imports
China will seek “institutional arrangements” with the United States over bilateral trade and investment at a summit next month, China’s deputy finance minister Zhu Guangyao has said.
The request from Beijing for smooth and predictable trade ties follows a pledge by Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump that he would restrict Chinese imports with a 45 per cent tariff, if he is elected in November.
Zhu, also Beijing’s representative at G20 talks, said China would raise the issue with its second biggest export market at the Strategic and Economic Dialogue, a gathering of Chinese and US senior officials, China News Service reported. The talks will also feature broader discussions on issues such as coordinating global macroeconomic policy.
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“We hope certain disputes in trade can be solved properly, and that’s in line with both countries’ interests,” Zhu said. “Apart from [good trade] numbers, we are truly in need of institutional arrangements.”
Chinese exports to the US fell 8.9 per cent in the first four months from a year earlier in US dollar terms, while Chinese imports from the US plunged 13.5 per cent in the same period, according to customs.
As trade turnover shrank, disputes remained. The US Department of Commerce last week ruled that imports of Chinese cold-roll steel sheets – used in cars and home appliances – should be subject to an anti-dumping and anti-subsidy tariff of more than 500 per cent. China’s trade ministry has attacked the move as unfair.
Apart from trade and investment issues, Beijing and Washington are likely to find plenty of other issues to talk about, from the South China Sea to global exchange rate stability.
“Security and political issues are likely to outweigh economic ones at the summit,” said He Weiwen, a former economic counsellor at the Chinese Consulate in San Francisco and New York.
“[Barack] Obama apparently does not intend to ink a trade or investment deal with China in his last days [as the US president].”