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BEIJING (MNI) - China and the United States plan on signing commercial
agreements during U.S. President Donald Trump's visit to China next week to open
the way for more imports of consumer goods, Vice Commerce Minister Fu Ziying
said Thursday at a press conference.
Fu said the two countries plan to negotiate and reach agreements on "some
aspects" of economic and trade cooperation issues, with China planning to lower
tariffs on some consumer goods and encouraging banks to expand import financing.
Fu said that China, as one of the largest consumer markets in the world, is
making efforts to significantly increase its overall level of imports. Commerce
Ministry officials have said that the first China International Import Expo,
scheduled to be held next year in Shanghai, is the first such effort to increase
China's imports and "set an example to the world" of open trade.
"A huge trade surplus exerts a negative influence on people's quality of
life," Fu said. "So China needs to expand its imports and let the people have a
feeling of gratification."
Chinese President Xi Jinping said at the keynote speech at the 19th Party
Congress last month that China's current main conflict is between the people's
need for a better life and China's unbalanced and insufficient development,
signaling the need for China to increase its imports and reduce its trade
surplus with the United States.
Trump, along with trade representatives led by U.S. Commerce Secretary
Wilbur Ross, will visit China from Nov. 8 to Nov. 10, part of his 12-day visit
in Asia, which starts with stops in Tokyo and Seoul. Trump is expected to press
China on trade issues and efforts to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula.
Fu stressed that the stance of the Chinese government is that its trade
surplus with the U.S. is determined by market forces and stems from the two
countries' different economic and industrial structures and different roles in
international trade relations. He said if the U.S. were to lessen controls over
high-tech exports to China, the trade gap would be significantly reduced.
Trump told reporters on Wednesday that the U.S. trade deficit with China is
"embarrassing" and "horrible." The statement came after the Chinese Commerce
Ministry issued statements on Tuesday and over the weekend that it was "strongly
against" the U.S. government's recent decision to levy duties on U.S. imports of
Chinese aluminum foil as an anti-dumping measure, and asked the U.S. government
to "correct the wrongdoings."
The Commerce Ministry on Monday announced it was initiating its own
anti-dumping investigation over ethanolamine imports from the United States,
Malaysia, Thailand and Saudi Arabia.
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