SCIO briefing on Sino-US trade

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Zhu Guangyao, vice minister of Finance

Wang Shouwen, vice minister of Commerce

Hu Kaihong, spokesperson of the State Council Information Office of China

April 4, 2018

Hu Kaihong:

Ladies and gentlemen, good afternoon. Welcome to this press conference. The issues related to Sino-U.S. trade have captured great public attention recently. Today, we invite Mr. Zhu Guangyao, vice minister of Finance, and Mr. Wang Shouwen, vice minister of Commerce and deputy China international trade representative, to introduce relevant issues, and answer some of your questions.

Zhu Guangyao:

Good afternoon, everyone. Please allow me to brief you on the latest developments first. On April 4, the U.S. announced a proposed list of products subject to additional tariffs. It covers 1,333 Chinese export items, which are worth US$50 billion. The additional tariff rate is 25 percent. At 3:30 p.m. today, upon the approval of the State Council, the Customs Tariff Commission of the State Council unveiled a list of U.S. imports that will be subject to higher tariffs. It was decided that an additional tariff of 25 percent will be imposed on 106 items of products under 14 categories, including soy beans, automobiles and chemical products. 

Hu Kaihong:

Now the floor is open to questions. Please identify your media outlet before raising any questions.

The Wall Street Journal:

Superficially, the trade conflict between China and the United States now seems to be escalating. We would like to know if the two countries are still keeping up any communication and dialogue. What do you think is the possibility that the two sides will reach an agreement to avoid further escalation of the trade conflict? One more question: With the escalation of the trade conflict, the market is very concerned about whether China will retaliate against the United States by reducing U.S. treasuries or devaluing the RMB exchange rate. How would you respond to this issue, Mr. Zhu?

Zhu Guangyao:

Thank you for your questions. First of all, China has always stressed that China-U.S. economic relations are based on the mutually beneficial win-win principle, which is the essence of China-U.S. economic relations.

At the beginning of the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1979, the trade volume between China and the United States was only US$2.5 billion. That number hit US$580 billion in 2017, an increase of more than 232 times. Such rapid development reflects the essence of China-U.S. economic relations, that is, mutual benefit or win-win. It is the common aspiration of the peoples of China and the United States and it has brought advantages to the peoples of the two countries.

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