China’s Liu, US Treasury’s Yellen hold ‘candid’ call on trade

AFP News Agency

26th Oct, 2021. 01:57 pm

BEIJING: China’s vice premier Liu He held a call with US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on Tuesday to discuss trade issues, with both sides highlighting points of concern in their relationship, as they try to tread a new path after the upheaval of the Donald Trump era.

In a video-call, the two held “pragmatic, candid and constructive exchanges on the macroeconomic situation and cooperation in multilateral and bilateral fields”, China’s Commerce Ministry said in a statement.

Liu expressed concern over the US tariffs and sanctions, and its treatment of Chinese companies, the statement said.

Relations between Beijing and Washington nosedived under former president Donald Trump, who imposed tariffs on the Chinese products worth billions of dollars in 2018, citing trade practices he deemed as ‘unfair’.

After Joe Biden took power in January, he launched a review of the US trade strategy and tariffs initiated by Trump. But his administration also says that China’s massive state subsidies for national companies, intellectual property theft and other factors create a heavily uneven playing field in trade.

According to a readout of the call from the US Treasury, Yellen “frankly raised issues of concern” in the meeting and the two sides recognised that “developments in our two economies have important implications for the global economy”.

Earlier this month, US Trade Representative Katherine Tai spoke to Liu for the second time to discuss Chinese commercial practices.

Last week, China promised the World Trade Organization (WTO) it would further open its vast market, with a swift counter from Washington that it believed Beijing showed “no inclination to change”.