Some give as well as take needed for talks trade-off

Updated 2018-05-02 22:42:16 China Daily

"We're going to have very frank discussions", U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a TV interview broadcast on Monday. Which is all well and good. But whether there will be any positive outcomes from the discussions in Beijing on Thursday and Friday will depend on whether the delegation he is heading comes to try and lay down the law to China or amicably find ways to resolve the trade feud that has erupted.

Certainly, Mnuchin and the other members of the U.S. trade delegation, which will reportedly include Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, trade adviser Peter Navarro and economic adviser Larry Kudlow, should not attribute China's lowering of its tariffs on some imports, such as automobiles and medicines, to the United States' targeting of its imports and investments. Such a misreading of China's actions would be detrimental to having heart-to-heart conversations to clear the air.

The time when China could be forced to open its doors is long past, and Beijing is not opening them wider now simply to appease others.

As President Xi Jinping highlighted at the Boao Forum for Asia in Hainan last month, further opening-up is necessary at this stage of China's development. Broadening market entry, strengthening intellectual property rights protection and lowering tariffs on cars are not moves intended to reduce the surplus with certain trade partners; if that is the case it is merely an added bonus. Instead, they are long-signaled moves to benefit the country and meet people's demands for greater choice.

Data from the World Trade Organization show that China's imports have grown at a faster rate than not only the world average, but also that of the U.S., Germany and Japan. In the coming five years, it is estimated China will import goods and services worth more than trillion.

That will be a big boost for those countries exporting to China, and to world trade as a whole given the global supply chains.

It is not unreasonable for China to seek quid pro quo, to want protection for China's intellectual property rights and for developed countries to remove their restrictions on ordinary high-tech exports to China.

If the U.S. delegation comes to China believing Beijing's resolve to open wider to the outside world is a matter of expediency under pressure from Washington, it will likely mean a lot of time is wasted setting the record straight.

Time that would be better spent putting an end to the current quarrel and exploring ways to put bilateral trade ties on a sound footing for the future.

Also in the News

Nicole Kidman Recalls Oscar Glory: Loneliest Time
Showbiz2016/06/16 13:58May 26 2018 17:49:03

Nicole Kidman Recalls Oscar Glory: Loneliest Time

Attending Shanghai International Film Festival, Nicole Kidman talks about her role in "Grace of Monaco".

Labor Day Travel Peak Starts
Also in the News2014/05/01 12:16May 26 2018 17:49:03

Labor Day Travel Peak Starts

Johnny Depp Delivers a Speech 'Evolve the Future' in 'Transcendence'
Also in the News2014/04/18 13:18May 26 2018 17:49:03

Johnny Depp Delivers a Speech 'Evolve the Future' in 'Transcendence'

Hollywood star Johnny Depp's speech in the upcoming new film "Transcendence" has been disclosed on Friday, April 11th.

Most Watched

News:
China World Business Sports Showbiz Audio
Video:
C4 My Chinese Life The Sound Stage China Revealed Showbiz Video Travel Video
Photos:
China World Fun Travel Entertainment Sports
Travel:
Beijing Shanghai Guangzhou
Lifestyle:
Live Music Opera & Classical Movies Traditional Shows Exhibitions
Learn Chinese:
Chinese Studio Living Chinese Everyday Chinese Just For Fun Chinese Culture Buzzwords