China-US trade is highly complementary: commerce ministry

By Zhuang Xueya from People’s Daily

China-US trade is highly complementary and has mutual benefits, China’s Ministry of Commerce (MOC) said on Saturday, adding that bilateral trade follows the rule of economic globalization and reveals the structural difference and internal demands of both nations.

The ministry made the statement after US President Donald Trump signed executive orders on Friday focused on reducing its trade deficit.

The reality, cause and possible impact for the US trade deficit with China are well understood by both countries,a spokesperson of the MOC said.

As the world’s top two economies, China and the US shoulder a special mission in boosting global trade and investment, as well as global economic prosperity, it added.

What the US should do is to follow the world-recognized rules, including implementing the obligations stipulated in Article 15 of the Protocol on China’s accession to the World Trade Organization, the ministry stressed.

China is willing to work alongside its US partner to intensify dialogue and properly address disagreements on the basis of equality, mutual benefits and win-win cooperation, it added.

Trump signed two executive orders at White House on Friday over its trade policies, claiming on the same day that the move aims to revitalize the US manufacturing industry.

The orders asked the Commerce Department and the US trade representative to conduct a 90-day review of the causes of massive US trade deficits by examining deficits “country by country and product by product”.

What’s more, a tougher investigation against the products exported to the US will be launched, and those they asserted as rule violators will be levied with higher duties.

Both US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and National Trade Council adviser Peter Navarro, at a press conference held a day earlier, defined the dramatic cut of trade deficits as an important promise made by Trump during his presidential campaign, stressing that the two orders are by no means targeting at China.

Data released in February by the US Department of Commerce showed that the US logged a 502.3 billion dollars trade deficit in 2016, of which the gap with China totaled at 347 billion dollars. At the same time, the deficit with the EU and Mexico stood at 146.3 billion dollars and 6.32 billion dollars respectively.

“China-US trade and economic relations have developed to such a stage that the two countries’ interests are inextricably intertwined. For issues that might crop up amid cooperation, the two sides should properly resolve them through consultation,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang repeated China’s stance on China-US trade deficit on Friday.

“The trade in goods between China and the US last year reached 519.6 billion dollars. You may say that China holds a trade surplus on trade in goods, but the US also has huge trade surplus in services,” he told the press conference, adding that even in terms of trade in goods, 40 percent of China’s trade surplus was created by US enterprises operating in China.

The spokesman, at last, urged China and the US to work together to make bigger the cake of common interests, which the two sides certainly have the potential to achieve, instead of bending over on which side grabs a larger share.