The U.S. and China have established a “100-day plan” on trade following a breakthrough in discussions between President Trump and his Chinese counterpart, according to Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross.
[Dan Dupont] April 7th, 2017 [Inside US Trade]
Briefing reporters after Trump’s meeting with China’s president, Xi Jinping, Ross – flanked by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson – said he thought the most significant development from two days of talks was the 100-day plan.
“Normally, trade discussions, especially between China and ourselves, are denominated in multiple years,” he said. “This was denominated in the first instance in 100 days with hopefully way stations of accomplishment along the way. Given the range of issues and the magnitude, that may be ambitious, but it’s a very big sea change in the pace of discussions. And I think that’s a very very important symbolization of the growing rapport between the two countries.”
Ross added that “you would not have expected us to reach agreement in a few hours of meetings. The issues are far more complex and far more deep-rooted. But 100 days is a very, very short time for trade.”
Asked for details on the “way stations” established as part of the plan, Ross said they are “a matter of negotiation itself. But, directionally, the objective is to increase our exports to China and to reduce the trade deficit that we have with them.”
Ross added that the two sides discussed a “very wide range of products,” adding, “the most interesting thing to me was they expressed an interest in reducing their net trade balance because of the impact it’s having on money supply and inflation. That’s the first time I’ve heard them say that in a bilateral context.”