U.S. treasury secretary says pleased with direction of U.S.-China economic relations

Updated 2017-06-07 15:27:06 Xinhua

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Tuesday that he was very pleased with the direction of U.S.-China economic relations as the two countries achieved initial results of a 100-day plan to boost economic cooperation.

At a U.S.-China Business Council annual meeting, Mnuchin hailed in particular China's willingness to expand beef imports from the United States, which is part of a 100-day plan designed to enhance economic cooperation between the two countries. He also highlighted progress in financial sector cooperation.

During a meeting at the Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida in April, Chinese President Xi Jinping and U.S. President Donald Trump agreed to establish a comprehensive economic dialogue and initiate a 100-day plan to boost bilateral economic cooperation.

"I couldn't be more pleased with the direction of where we're heading," he said, noting good economic relations with China is "very important" for the United States.

Last month, the two sides announced the initial results of the 100-day plan, covering agriculture, financial services, investment and energy. Most of the agreements are expected to be implemented by July 16.

Mnuchin said the two countries are now planning the inauguration of the comprehensive economic dialogue, which will most likely be slated for this summer, and which could kick off discussion of a one-year plan on bilateral economic cooperation.

Acknowledging that negotiation on certain issues may take time, Mnuchin said the U.S. side wants to make sure both sides are "on the same page" and can figure out ways to execute shared objectives.

Negotiation of a bilateral trade agreement with China remains on the Trump administration's agenda, progress on specific issues such as market fairness should be made first, he said.

Though China's economic growth is slowing down, it's still growing "quite high" compared to developed countries, Mnuchin said, adding that he didn't see "any concern in the near term" about the world's second-largest economy.

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