United States and China Take First Steps in Trade Deal

The U.S. and China agreed to take action before mid-July that will increase access for financial companies from the U.S. to expand trade in chicken and beef amongst other steps as Washington continues its push to cut the trade deficit with China.

The deals represent the first results from 100 days of talks related to trade that started in April when a meeting was held between President Donald Trump and President Xi Jinping that proved much friendlier that expected after the presidential campaign of last year, but an immediate impact remained unclear.

Wilbur Ross the Commerce Secretary said the deal would help lower the deficit with China.

Last year, the trade deficit with China reached $347 billion showed figures from the U.S. Treasury.

By day 100, which is July 16, China agreed it would issue guidelines allowing card payment services that are U.S. owned to start their licensing process in an industry where UnionPay in China has been nearly a monopoly.

China will allow as well the imports from the U.S. of beef starting no later than on July 16 and the U.S. is to issue a rule that allows cooked poultry from China to enter the U.S. market.

Firms that are foreign-owned will be able to provide China with credit rating services in the country.

Trump pledged during his campaign for the presidency that he would be ending trade practices by China as well as other nations that he called unfair to the U.S. His tough rhetoric toward China fueled fears earlier of a possible trade war.

However, the comments and rhetoric has softened toward China the last month and Trump expressed admiration for the President of China saying he wanted China to help deal with the nuclear threat from North Korea.

Shortly after the meeting by Trump and Xi, the U.S. president said he told Xi he would give China a better trade deal if it helped to rein in its neighbor North Korea.

On Friday, when he was asked if the trade talks with the U.S. were related to the country of North Korea, a China representative said economic issues shouldn’t be politicized.

However, while the two largest economies in the world agreed to a number of new steps to be taken before July 16, it is still not clear if the new deals will increase trade over the short-term.

Ker Gibbs the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai chairman said the new measures were a good start but did not represent a breakthrough.

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