12 May 2017

U.S., China Agree to First Trade Steps Under 100-Day Plan

News

The United States and China have agreed to take action by mid-July to increase access for U.S. financial firms and expand trade in beef and chicken among other steps as part of Washington's drive to cut its trade deficit with Beijing.

The deals are the first results of 100 days of trade talks that began last month, when a meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping proved far more friendly than had been expected after last year's U.S. presidential campaign, but the immediate impact was unclear.

"This will help us to bring down the deficit for sure," U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said at media briefing in Washington. "You watch and you'll see."

The United States ran a trade deficit of $347 billion with China last year, U.S. Treasury figures show.

By July 16, the 100th day after the leaders' meeting, China agreed to issue guidelines that would allow U.S.-owned card payment services "to begin the licensing process" in a sector where China's UnionPay system has had a near monopoly.

China will also allow U.S. imports of beef no later than July 16, and the United States will issue a proposed rule to allow Chinese cooked poultry to enter U.S. markets.

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