US, China narrow differences on trade

Following technical consultations between China and the US, China is to allow imports of US beef on conditions consistent with global food safety and animal health standards and consistent with the 1999 Agricultural Cooperation Agreement.

Vice commerce minister Yu Jianhua, one of China's top trade negotiators, was effusive in his description of the USA administration, something not often heard from Beijing.

When Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping met for the first time last month at Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort, analysts predicted that China would attempt to appease the president by making some painless concessions that would show him that they were serious about reducing China's $347 billion annual trade surplus with the U.S., while also giving him something to brag about back home.

"While we welcome the news that China intends to reopen its market to USA beef, steps must be taken to ensure the benefits from this expanded market flow all the way back to the farmers and ranchers who comprise the USA live cattle supply chain, and are not captured by the multinational meatpackers who will actually export the beef". China has a long history of formally granting market access but then effectively blocking it by controlling how Chinese firms conduct business, or by other informal restrictions on how foreign companies can operate.

"We are excited about USA trade policies and I think you probably saw we made an announcement of a 100 day economic plan with the Chinese so I think we're very happy with how were proceeding with the Chinese", Mnuchin said. The Belt and Road Initiative refers to a plan to create an economic zone stretching all the way to Europe and Africa by land and sea. As for chicken, the complementary trade is one that Beijing has long pushed. He also needed a diplomatic victory to distract from the cloud surrounding his abrupt dismissal of his Federal Bureau of Investigation chief, James Comey.

During last year's election, Trump had threatened to impose trade tariffs and label Beijing a currency manipulator, neither of which he has done. But the two sides have been finding common ground on North Korea, and now they are deepening economic ties as well. It's a good start but Beijing didn't give up much.

The deals are the first concrete results of trade talks that began last month after President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping met in Florida to discuss cooperation between the world's two largest economies.

The Chinese market is estimated to be worth $2.6 billion for the USA beef industry. It had conditionally lifted the ban, but few purchases have been made.

NORTHAM: For its part, the Trump administration will allow imports of cooked poultry from China.

"For the 100-day plan to be credible it must address market access issues that impact US -based technology companies in China", Giovenco told Bloomberg BNA. "China can expand its investments in these areas".

The two countries will hold high- level talks this summer to be led by Mr Ross, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and China's Vice-Premier Wang Yang, to work on a longer, one-year plan aimed at addressing USA trade concerns. "This will help us to bring down the deficit for sure", said Wilbur Ross, the USA commerce secretary.

"As noted in the U.S". There, the Americans had also wanted a preliminary 100-day plan, but the Japanese apparently refused.

FILE - In this April 25, 2017 file photo, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross takes a question during the daily press briefing at the White House in Washington.

But with China, which accounts for half of America's trade deficit, Washington is now assuming a starkly different attitude.

  • Larry Hoffman