U.S. Strikes China Trade Deals but Leaves Major Issues Untouched

The Obama administration had advanced its own regional plan in the form of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a trade deal that included 12 Pacific Rim nations but left out China. The two plans were widely seen as offering competing visions of Asia’s future. But Mr. Trump withdrew the United States from the partnership in January, effectively killing the deal.

The trade deal announced Thursday will also allow Chinese companies to export cooked poultry products and offered reassurance to China that it could buy liquefied natural gas from America.

The trade agreements did not address areas such as steel, aluminum or auto parts — areas where Chinese exports have a deep, industrywide impact. Mr. Trump criticized China’s trade practices both before and after the election, saying China was benefiting at the expense of American workers.

The Trump administration has since moderated its language, with Mr. Trump suggesting that China could strike better trade terms if it helped the United States contain North Korea’s nuclear ambitions.

Yu Jianhua, China’s deputy commerce minister, said the trade deals “have changed others’ anticipation on a potential trade war between China and the United States.”

Many of these deals actually consisted of adding new deadlines or details to agreements reached during the Obama administration. Trade officials in both countries had previously agreed that China would resume accepting American beef exports, which China has limited for more than a decade over worries about mad cow disease, but this week’s beef pact set a deadline of July 16.

Other deals were a shift from the positions of the Obama administration. It had long refused to allow imports of Chinese poultry, as the Agriculture Department had broad safety concerns about it, including the chemicals the animals are fed and the hygiene at farms and slaughterhouses. Salmonella and bird flu are also widespread problems in China, although the germs that cause them should be killed if poultry is properly cooked.

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross praised the deals for providing specific dates for China to act on trade pledges it has made repeatedly but not fulfilled.

He predicted that Trump administration policies would start to narrow the United States’ trade deficit with China, which is equal to more than half of the nation’s overall trade deficit.

“By the latter part of the year,” he said, “you should see something.”

Mr. Ross and his negotiators were not able to obtain a deadline for when China would issue approvals for eight kinds of American seeds that have been bioengineered to produce hardier and more productive crops.

On electronic payment services, which have become a popular alternative to cash in China, both sides appeared to make compromises. The…

Read the full article from the Source…

Back to Top