United States announces trade progress with China in 10 key areas
- Author: Zachary Reyes May 27, 2017,
May 27, 2017, 15:11
The deal will also allow China easier access to the US banking system and let American energy companies export LNG to China, most of which it now buys from Russian Federation.
The agreement appears a step toward easing discord between the world's two largest economies, but it steers clear of bigger issues that would have more substantial impact on the US trade deficit. American supplies accounted for nearly 7 percent of China's total imports in March, customs data shows. "USMEF and its members greatly appreciate the efforts of the Trump administration and officials at USDA and USTR", said a statement.
China has purchased negligible amounts of USA beef products since imposing a ban in 2003 over concerns about "mad cow" disease.
On the resumption of USA beef exports to China, Mr Ross said: "It's a very big market; it's at least a $2.5 billion market that's being opened".
The deal is the first sign of progress on the 100-day action plan that Trump and Xi called for during their meeting at Trump's Florida estate in April.
The deal also fast-tracks US approval of Chinese poultry imports and gives Chinese banks more access to the USA market.
Beijing and Washington announced Friday an agreement giving US beef, natural gas and certain financial services access to China's massive market in a deal highlighting the warm ties nurtured by their presidents.
The comprehensive agreement comes under the 100-day action plan to improve trade ties and covers agriculture, financial services, investment, and energy.
U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said the initial agreement would help "bring down" the deficit with China, without providing a precise estimate. It is estimated the Chinese market represents around US$2.6 billion worth for the USA beef producers. "China relations on trade", Ross told reporters Thursday evening at the White House. We have all the ingredients for a good trade deal with a market that is absolutely seeking the kind of high-quality beef the U.S. has to offer.
Chinese Vice Finance Minister Zhu Guangyao, speaking at a briefing in Beijing to announce the agreements, deflected questions about details, repeatedly describing the measures as "balanced". "We finally have gotten them to agree to a precise date to which the beef imports into China would start from America". Previous administrations have hailed market-opening agreements only to be left disappointed. The Chinese middle class represents more consumers than the entire USA population, Baucus says, and they are hungry for beef.
"Clearly China, whose banks are among the largest in the whole world, wants access to the USA banking market", he said.
The Trump administration hopes this initial trade deal helps "bring down" the USA trade deficit with China - something President Trump emphasized on the campaign trail. While the Trump administration has touted a surge in USA manufacturing, this agreement does little to help that goal. China is attempting to turn to natural gas as a way to reduce its dependence on coal and combat the country's extensive air pollution. In return, among other things, China gets to send us its cooked poultry.