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Vice-premier will head trade team

Zhong Nan/Ren Xiaojin
Updated: May 10,2018 7:13 AM     China Daily

Vice-Premier Liu He will lead a Chinese delegation to the United States to discuss economic and trade issues at an appropriate time, following China’s receipt of an invitation from US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, the Ministry of Commerce said on May 9.

A spokesperson from the ministry confirmed that Chinese officials and officials in the administration of US President Donald Trump have been talking about the visit.

This would be the second high-level meeting since a bilateral trade dispute escalated in March. The first talks took place in Beijing on May 3 and 4.

Experts predicted that officials from both sides would discuss how to avoid the proposed tariff on $150 billion of China’s exports. China has warned that $50 billion in US goods are targeted for tariffs and vowed to fight to the end.

“Even though the Trump administration proposed steep tariffs on Chinese imports worth $50 billion with its first list in late March, we have noticed that the US government endeavored to avoid putting daily necessities and household goods on the list to minimize the impact on its people’s daily lives,” said Mei Xinyu, a senior researcher at the Ministry of Commerce’s Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation.

Mei said the two economies are intensely interdependent and intertwined and it is inevitable that any protective trade measures will hurt their economies and global value chain.

Other issues, including technology transfers, investment environment, exchange rate, talent flows and intellectual property protection, may also be discussed, said Chen Wenling, chief economist at the China Center for International Economic Exchanges.

The fast growth of China’s middle-income earners has become the biggest consumption market for the US. Healthy China-US business ties will not only bring benefits to both countries, but also to economies in the Asia-Pacific region and the world, said Jiang Shan, former director-general of the Ministry of Commerce’s Department of American and Oceanian Affairs.

“China’s development will not challenge the current world order, and the US shouldn’t see China as a strategic opponent,” Jiang said. “Only dialogue can resolve the problems.”

Lyu Xiang, a researcher at the Institute of World Economics and Politics at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said as pillar industries of the US and European Union are less complementary than those of the US and China, the next target of the Trump administration might be the EU.