China pledges to work seriously with US ahead of Ross’ visit

BEIJING (AP) — China’s government pledged Wednesday to work conscientiously with Washington ahead of a visit by U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to Beijing to work on resolving a sprawling trade dispute between the world’s two biggest economies.

China welcomes imports of “high-quality and competitive” American products, the Commerce Ministry said in a statement, following promises to buy more American farm goods and energy.

The United States and China had reported progress after high-level talks last week aimed at bringing down America’s massive trade deficit with Beijing, pulling the two sides away from the brink of a trade war. The two sides, however, gave no indication of how much progress they had made toward ending the dispute over U.S. complaints about market access and technology policy.

The Commerce Ministry’s statement gave no details of possible new initiatives but promised to “conscientiously implement” the joint statement by China and the U.S. issued Saturday in which Beijing agreed to “substantially reduce” America’s trade deficit with China.

China did not commit to cut the gap by any specific amount. The Trump administration had sought to slash the deficit by $200 billion.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the administration agreed to put on hold proposed tariffs on up to $150 billion in Chinese products. China had promised to retaliate in a move that threatened a tit for tat trade war.

He said they expect to see a big increase — 35 percent to 45 percent this year alone — in U.S. farm sales to China. Mnuchin also forecast a doubling in sales of U.S. energy products to the Chinese market, increasing energy exports by $50 billion to $60 billion in the next three to five years.

This article provided by NewsEdge.