Concrete results emerge from Sino-US 100-day action plan with huge food deal

By Wang Jiamei Source:Global Times Published: 2017/7/16 20:48:39

With the Sino-US 100-day economic action plan near its end, a Chinese delegation last week signed the second-largest purchase deal ever for US soybeans, another outcome of the bilateral trade talks under the plan. To a certain extent, the signing of the agreements has created favorable conditions for the upcoming first round of the China-US Comprehensive Economic Dialogue (CED) this week, which is widely expected to yield positive changes in the trade relationship.

On Thursday, a Chinese delegation signed agreements to purchase 12.53 million tons of US soybeans and 371 tons of US beef and pork, with a total value of $5.01 billion. While the beef deal followed China's lifting of a 14-year ban on US beef supply, the soybean deal appeared more impressive.

Under the contract, Chinese buyers will purchase nearly all of Iowa's annual soybean crop, or 10 percent of total US exports of the grain.

The high-value deal is more than just another result of the renewed Sino-US economic dialogue -- it also reflects China's massive market and buying power. Similarly, the US is a huge consumer market for Chinese-made daily goods, clothing and electronic products.

If both countries are willing and able to deepen their economic and trade ties, the potential for bilateral trade cooperation is enormous, given the size of each market.

Of course, strengthening economic ties is not a simple issue for the two, and there's no shortage of criticism and complaints. For instance, most US companies in China remain concerned that the Chinese government favors domestic companies over foreign ones, according to the 2017 China Business Report released last week by the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai.

But such worries are groundless, said Gao Feng, spokesperson for China's Ministry of Commerce, as the same report showed that more US companies were profitable in China in 2016 than in 2015.

"The sound performance of US companies in China offers strong evidence that China's business environment is improving," Gao said.

Concrete results achieved under the 100-day action plan will benefit both countries and their peoples. The plan also created favorable conditions for subsequent negotiations. With the first round meeting of the China-US CED scheduled to take place in Washington Wednesday, observers on both sides hope that the talks will lead to practical results and deeper economic and trade cooperation.

The author is a reporter with the Global Times. bizopinion@globaltimes.com.cn



Posted in: EYE ON THE ECONOMY

blog comments powered by Disqus