A string of commitments made by China to narrow Sino-American trade gap
has shown China's goodwill, said Vice-Premier Wu Yi who is leading a big
business delegation visiting and shopping in the United States.
US President George W.
Bush (R) meets with visiting Chinese Vice Premier Wu Yi in the White House
in Washington on April 12, 2006. Wu heads a high-profile delegation to the
US and co-chaired a meeting of China-US Joint Commission on Commerce and
US President George W. Bush thanked Madam Wu Yi at a meeting at the White
House Wednesday for "efforts to make US-China trade more equitable", said White
House press secretary Scott McClellan.
Wu told a press conference that Chinese companies had signed 107 contracts
with US firms worth US$16.2 billion. The agreements cover sectors ranging from
airplanes, electronics, auto parts, heavy equipment, software to cotton and
"It's progress and ... now we will look forward to seeing results," said
He said he looked forward to the upcoming visit by Chinese President Hu
Jintao, adding that he expected to exchange views with Hu on U.S.-China
relations and other major issues of common concern.
Bush also reaffirmed his persistent position on the Taiwan issue.
Chinese President Hu Jintao will visit the United States next week. Bush said
that he would like to hear him to "explain to the American people how China will
meet the challenge of rectifying global economic imbalances", McClellan said.
According to an Associated Press report, the Republicans in the United
States, though supporters of Bush's free-trade policies, are beginning to worry
they could suffer in the upcoming congressional elections unless the US trade
picture begins to improve.
The US Commerce Department says that US trade
deficit with China represented more than one-fourth of last year's record $723.6
billion US deficit with all countries. Critics say the deficits are a major
factor in the loss of nearly 3 million manufacturing jobs since Bush took office
The White House got some good news on America's deficit with
China with a report Wednesday showing their trade gap declined by 22.7 percent
in February, falling to $13.8 billion, the smallest imbalance with China since
March 2005. The improvement reflected a 19.9 percent jump in U.S. exports to
China to $4.1 billion, the second highest level on record, led by big gains in
sales of American cotton, soybeans and semiconductors.
American industry groups were generally pleased with the results of an annual
meeting of the Sino-US Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade, which was created
in 1983 to resolve trade frictions between the two nations.
Frank Vargo, vice president for international trade at the National
Association of Manufacturers, called the business deals which China signed
"incremental contributions to the removal of trade obstacles."
The talks on Tuesday were led by US Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez and
US Trade Representative Rob Portman, both of whom praised the Chinese for the
commitments they did make.
"In our discussions today, which were very frank and positive, we were able
to solve some problems," Portman said at a joint closing news conference.
Wu said China has been "earnestly implementing" the directions of China's top
leaders to boost imports from the United States.
Beijing has requested the United States to allow more high-tech US products
to be exported to China, to effectively narrow the bilateral trade imbalance.
China agreed to move to lift the beef ban it imposed after the first case of
mad cow disease was discovered in the United States in December 2003 but said it
would do so only after certain technical issues were resolved.
U.S. Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns predicted those details would soon be
worked but he refused to give a timetable of when beef shipments could resume.
On copyright piracy, China agreed to require that all computers sold in the
country be loaded with legal operating software and to increase enforcement
efforts against all forms of copyright piracy.
China also made commitments to streamline the approval of American medical
devices for sale in China, to adjust capital requirements that American
telecommunications companies see as a major barrier to setting up Chinese
operations and to make sure new rules do not discriminate against U.S. express