Mega import deals with US likely soon

By Jiang Wei (China Daily)
Updated: 2007-04-18 07:10

China is likely to ink mega import deals, possibly amounting to $12 billion, with the United States during the second Sino-US strategic economic dialogue next month, in a move to narrow the trade gap.

The talks, which will be co-chaired by Vice-Premier Wu Yi and US Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, are the highest-profile dialogue mechanism over economic issues between the two.

The proposed procurement delegation is likely to be led by Vice-Minister of Commerce Ma Xiuhong, covering a wide range of US agricultural and industrial products, from soybean and cotton manufacturing machinery to electronic products.

The delegation will visit Atlanta, Chicago, San Francisco and Washington.

Though there's no official word on the possible procurement spree, if it does materialize, it will be seen as the latest move by China to cut its trade surplus with the US that totaled over $144 billion in 2006.

This round of Sino-US dialogue is expected to be tense as the US government has just referred China to the World Trade Organization (WTO) over intellectual property right issues and for allegedly restricting distribution of foreign music, films and books.

Chinese enterprises last year signed about $16 billion in import deals with their US counterparts on products ranging from soybean to aircraft during President Hu Jintao's visit to the US.

These organized procurements reflect China's intention to address the trade imbalance, said Zhang Liping, a researcher with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. But some experts argued the proposed procurement would only have a short-term impact on the Sino-US trade gap.

In order to pursue a more balanced trade with some key trade partners like the US, the Chinese government has been encouraging imports. Wang Xinpei, spokesman for the Ministry of Commerce, last week said China was studying more means to enlarge imports.

Top China News  
Today's Top News  
Most Commented/Read Stories in 48 Hours