Further opening investment, trade an opportunity for China, US: Former treasury
NEW YORK — Both China and the United States have the opportunity to do well if they further open investment and trade to each other, former US Secretary of the Treasury Jacob Lew said Friday.
Lew said that China will benefit from increased US investment in service sectors such as finance and insurance, while the United States could benefit from foreign direct investment from China, which helps create jobs.
"It shouldn't be a zero-sum game," he said at the 6th Columbia China Prospects Conference that opened on Friday.
"One thing I know for sure is that given the size of the US and Chinese economies, the world is watching the two of us because everyone has a stake in our individual and joint success," Lew said.
On the US-China trade deficit, Lew said the actual bilateral trade deficit number is not always the issue. "You have to separate goods and services from financial flows and investment," he said.
The two countries' trade imbalance is easing as middle-income Chinese generate a huge demand for imported products, according to both US and Chinese official data.
Meanwhile, Lew said the two countries should cooperate to address issues concerning excess capacity and the investment environment in the future.
With regard to the currency issue, Lew noted that the Donald Trump administration made an important decision based on facts and analysis not to designate China as a currency manipulator.
"Based on facts and analyses it will be difficult to reach a different conclusion. But it is important that the facts and analyses govern the decision," he said.
Trump on Wednesday said his administration would not label China a currency manipulator.