Liu He Says Sino-US Trade War Averted with Commitment to Buy American Goods

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China’s chief representative in the latest round of trade negotiations with Washington says that there will be no trade war with the US, after both parties reached a mutual understanding on how to resolve their differences.

Liu He (刘鹤), vice-premier of China’s State Council and member of the politburo, met with his US counterparts in Washington DC from 17 to 18 May to engage in trade negotiations.

Both parties issued a joint declaration on 19 May, stating that effective measures would be adopted to reduce the US trade deficit with China, and that China would greatly increase its purchases of US goods and services, which would spur American economic growth and employment.

Both parties also agreed for the US to increase its exports of agricultural and energy sector goods to China, engage in discussions to expand trade in manufacturing goods and services, encourage mutual investment, and place greater emphasis upon the protection of intellectual property rights.

Liu said to local media that the biggest result of the latest round of negotiations was the reaching of common understanding between China and the US that there would be no trade war, and that reciprocal tariff hikes would come to an end.

The recent trade tiff between China and the US kicked off in April, when the Trump administration mooted a tariff of 25% on up to USD$150 billion in Chinese imports, prompting Beijing to introduce retaliatory levies and file dispute proceedings with the World Trade Organization.

Liu He said that his latest visit to the US to engage in trade negotiations was “positive and highly constructive,” and that both sides reached many common understandings for the development of positive and healthy Sino-US economic and trade relations.

According to Liu China and the US will strengthen trade cooperation in multiple areas including energy, agricultural goods, health, hi-tech products and finance, and that this would advance China’s transition towards high-quality growth, as well as be of benefit to reducing the US trade deficit.

Both parties will also continue to strengthen mutual investment and deepen cooperation in the area of intellectual property rights protection, which would benefit China, the US, as well as the global economic trade order.

Liu stressed that China is host to a huge middle-income demographic which is destined to become the world’s largest market.

“This is a highly competitive market, and if a share in the Chinese market is desired, exporting nations must raise the competitiveness of their own products and services, and make the Chinese people want to purchase. ”

Liu further noted that Chinese President Xi Jinping proposed greater opening  of the Chinese economy in four key areas at the 2018 Bo’ao Forum for Asia, and that China would accelerate the implementation of this process.

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