Washington needs to take a fair look at Sino-US trade

Source:Global Times Published: 2017/7/19 20:58:39 Last Updated: 2017/7/19 21:08:02

The first China-US Comprehensive Economic Dialogue (CED) kicked off in Washington Wednesday with the mission to expand the 100-Day Plan to a one-year scheme and to consolidate bilateral economic cooperation.

In the days running up to the dialogue, voices were heard within the US disapproving of the "unfair" trade between China and the US. The American media amplified such voices in a bid to exert pressure on China before the dialogue. Actually this is a typical scene in American public opinion each time an important bilateral dialogue is about to convene.

Wilbur Ross, Secretary of Commerce of the US, hailed on Tuesday the importance of Sino-US trade ties and the bilateral relationship on the whole. His remarks, in contrast to the negative sentiments the American side sent out previously, are hoped to be a signal that the CED will conclude successfully.

Washington needs to adjust the way it views Sino-US trade. China's exports to the US are legitimate trade based on WTO rules. The large scale is driven by free trade, and is not promoted by politics.

The US can expand its exports to China. For example, China is in need of hi-tech products from the US and is willing to purchase some technologies. But the strict ban the US imposes on hi-tech exports to China has squandered the US' advantage.

To a large extent, Washington has itself to blame for the unbalanced trade between China and the US. It excludes its most competitive products, but wants to sell China commodities that can't compete with those made in China.

The US should realize that only a few of its manufactured goods exported to China are unparalleled in the Chinese market. Boeing airplanes can be considered as an example, but its automobiles and luxury goods are not appealing to Chinese customers.

Washington wants to export more agricultural products to China, but the country is known for its genetically modified crops, and many Chinese customers have security concerns over these.

The US calls for a more open Chinese financial market. China has put much effort into this, but national financial security must be a basis for expanding Sino-US cooperation. This sector is unlikely to affect the big picture of China-US economy and trade.

In culture, the number of American blockbusters screened in China has almost reached the upper limit. As long as the US abides by Chinese laws and is willing to accept equal supervision, the Chinese Internet market takes an open attitude toward US Internet companies. However, Washington refuses to make concessions. It is national security, rather than trade, that is Beijing's major concern in its follow-up cooperation with Washington.

China has put much effort into alleviating the trade imbalance with the US. Washington imposes restrictions on the exports of its competitive goods, and meanwhile tries to sell unattractive products to China. This is the fundamental reason for the issue. Washington should squarely face its problems and re-adjust its policies.

China is pushing forward supply-side structural reform, and the US should have an awareness of supply in order to boost its exports to China. For instance, Washington can create more favorable conditions for Chinese people to study and travel in the US.

Chinese people don't want to expand the trade surplus with the US or gain extra advantage at the expense of the US, and Washington shouldn't regard the issue as a "struggle" to reduce its trade deficit with China, which will only mislead the public on Sino-US bilateral trade. We hope the CED can set an example for the two countries to sincerely and pragmatically address the problems.

Posted in: EDITORIAL

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