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Home > World > China, US ink $250 billion trade deals to mark Trump's 1st visit

China, US ink $250 billion trade deals to mark Trump's 1st visit

Friday, November 10, 2017
By K J M Varma

Beijing: Cash-rich China yesterday wooed the US by signing deals worth more than USD 250 billion during President Donald Trump's first visit, amidst his criticism of the Communist giant's unfair business practices and the "chronic imbalance" in bilateral trade.

The deals were signed at a ceremony attended by Chinese President Xi Jinping and Trump at the Great Hall of the People after the two leaders held wide-ranging talks. Xi had hosted Trump yesterday at the iconic Forbidden City, home for Chinese emperors.

In statements to reporters after their talks, Xi and Trump offered placatory views of US-China ties, and insisted that differences between the two countries would be cast aside in place of a cooperative partnership.

"We want a vibrant trade relationship with China," Trump said. "We also want a fair and reciprocal one. Today, I discussed with President Xi the chronic imbalance in our relationship as it pertains to trade and the concrete steps it will take to solve the problem of massive trade distortion."

Ahead of his visit, Trump has said the massive trade deficit in bilateral trade is a shame, and has been pressuring China, the world's second largest economy, to open its huge market more for US products and firms.

The US goods and services trade with China totalled to an estimated USD 648.2 billion in 2016 in which China had a lion's share with about USD 478.9 billion exports. The US exports to China stood at USD 169.3 billion, according to US trade figures. In his remarks, Xi also offered a conciliatory view of the US-China ties, insisting that bilateral differences could be resolved.

"As two distinctive countries our two sides may have different views or differences on some issues. This is natural," Xi said. "They key is to properly handle and manage them."

Trump also said he does not fault China for taking advantage of differences between the way the two countries do business.

"I don't blame China," Trump said during remarks to business leaders of both countries. "After all, who can blame a country for being able to take advantage of another country for benefit of their citizens? I give China great credit."

Instead, Trump said previous US administrations were responsible for what he called "a very unfair and one-sided" trade relationship with China.

Photocaption: President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping participate in a welcome ceremony at the Great Hall of the People yesterday in Beijing, China.

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