Published: Sat, May 13, 2017
Finance | By Laverne Griffith

China, US reach trade agreement on beef, poultry and natural gas

China, US reach trade agreement on beef, poultry and natural gas

A new trade deal will allow USA beef and natural gas exports to flow into China while opening up the American market for cooked poultry and Chinese banks, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross announced here.

Under the agreement announced by both countries, China will lift a 13-year embargo on USA beef imports by July 16, while Chinese companies will be able to buy U.S. natural gas.

In turn, the U.S is to allow cooked Chinese chicken meat and for Chinese banks to enter the U.S markets.

The trade deal marks a stark contrast to the rhetoric of President Donald Trump during the campaign trail a year ago, where he repeatedly lambasted China for unfair trading practices.

The White House announced that it had agreed with China on increasing the access of American goods and services to the Chinese market, Interfax reports on Friday. It will accept USA shipments of liquified natural gas.

What have the U.S. and China agreed to? "You watch and you'll see", said Secretary Ross.

On Friday China promised to increase access for U.S. financial firms and natural gas imports, and open up markets for beef and chicken.

Jacob Parker, vice president of China operations at the U.S. India has reservations over the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, part of the OBOR, as it is proposed to pass through the Pakistan- occupied Kashmir.

Visa said Friday it "looked forward to submitting an application for a bank-card clearing institution license" as a result of China's latest commitment to open the market.

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While Trump had earlier said China could receive more favorable trade terms from the U.S.in return for help in persuading North Korea to cease its nuclear and missile activities, Zhu downplayed any suggestion of a link between the two.

The agreement would also ease import restrictions on agricultural goods, including ending China's ban on beef imports, which was imposed in 2003 after a case of mad-cow disease. The United States has pressured China for years to allow beef imports, but the process has been constantly delayed.

Ross said there should be an impact on China's trade surplus with the United States by the end of the year. Market access to China is crucial for USA cattle producers.

Trade experts were quick to point out that the agreement, which largely focuses on agricultural goods, energy and financial products, does nothing for USA manufacturers, long a source of tension in the relationship with China.

The joint statement said the United States would send a delegation to China's One Belt, One Road summit - Xi's signature project - on Sunday and Monday.

"Commerce Department trade data showed that "Semiconductors and related device manufacturing" had a trade deficit of $2.4 billion in 2016, with exports of $43.1 billion and imports of $45.6 billion", Reuters reported, noting that the data also includes solar cells, LEDs, and some raw materials.

The WTO ruled against Beijing in 2012 for allowing only its state-owned company, UnionPay, to provide electronic payment services. MasterCard's spokesman Venture Liang said it looked forward to "full and prompt market access in China".

"Neuffer said the industry was ready to work with the Trump administration to find ways to persuade China to allow its semiconductor industry to develop in a market-driven way and not discriminate against foreign firms", Reuters reported, adding that the group also backs tax reforms that would not penalize overseas earnings and immigration policies that allows for foreign-born workers to be hired.

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