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U.S.-China Hundred-Day Trade Talks Start July 19

July 16, 2017 (EIRNS)—The 100-day period following the Trump-Xi meeting in Mar-a-Lago ends today, with the meeting of the U.S.-China Comprehensive Economic Dialogue set up for the 100-day process scheduled to meet Wednesday July 19 in Washington, hosted by U.S. Treasury and Commerce Secretaries Steven Mnuchin and Wilbur Ross and Chinese Vice-Premier Wang Yang.

Already agreed to since the Florida summit: China massively expanded its purchase of soy beans; dropped the ban on imports of U.S. beef (brought on by the mad cow scare in 2013); and agreed to buy U.S. liquid natural gas.

Overall, expectations are high for a successful meeting and new agreements. Nonetheless, among the expected contentious issues: the Wall Street crowd are demanding that China open up access to China for the U.S. banking and services sector, which China will not do. President Trump has threatened to impose tariffs on Chinese steel (although China is not even among the top ten steel exporters to the United States). China is calling for easing of national security curbs on high-tech exports to China, and loosening of CFIUS (Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States) restraints on Chinese investments.

Chinese Ambassador to the U.S. Cui Tiankai, speaking at the National Governors Association in Rhode Island on Thursday, said:

"More recently, there are some troubling developments on the issues that concern China’s vital interests and the issues that concern the critical foundation of our relations,"

and called on CFIUS to "play a facilitator role rather than obstacle role."

Cui also called for a revival of negotiations over the bilateral investment treaty (BIT), which were shelved by the Trump administration after 33 rounds of negotiations over the past five years. "If concluded," Cui said, "this agreement would take care of many pressing concerns of the business communities of both countries," said Cui. He concluded:

"We are looking forward to the mutually-beneficial outcomes of this dialogue. We hope the dialogue will be a meaningful exchange and help to build an even stronger basis for our economic and trade relations, as we deal with the uncertainties of the global economy."

China’s Commerce Ministry reported this week that U.S.-China bilateral trade was up over 14% from January to May over last year, to $220 billion. Chinese imports from the United States were up 21.4% to $63 billion.