USA commerce secretary strikes upbeat tone on Beijing visit

USA commerce secretary strikes upbeat tone on Beijing visit”

Ross told China there was a need for it to "guarantee fair and reciprocal treatment for USA firms" during a visit to Beijing, where he tried to strike an upbeat tone amid trade tensions between the two countries.

China hopes the countries can improve economic and trade ties and that their common interests outweigh their differences, Mr Li told Mr Ross on Monday in brief comments to reporters before the meeting.

China committed to further market opening and welcomed participation by US firms, with both sides supporting talks to resolve trade frictions, it said.

Ross met Sunday with his Chinese counterpart, Zhong Shan.

The world's two top economies have been at odds over how to handle North Korea's nuclear threat, with Beijing repeatedly calling for peace talks and the United States pressing for massive economic pressure on China's ally.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said Tuesday there was a good tone during his trip to Beijing to meet Chinese officials in advance of President Donald Trump's visit later this year amid growing trade frictions.

Ross gave no details, but Trump has criticized China's large trade surpluses with the United States and threatened to raise tariffs on steel.

Ross met with several senior Chinese officials including Premier Li Keqiang and Vice Premier Wang Yang over the weekend to discuss some of the key frictions in the trade relationship, including protection of United States intellectual property and sensitive technology, according to a readout of his meetings.

Last Friday, China announced that it would restrict some oil product exports to North Korea, as Mr Trump seeks to further isolate Mr Kim Jong Un's regime. But U.S. business groups have expressed disappointment that the talks have not yielded more progress in getting China to loosen restrictions on foreign investment in many sectors.

Chinese leaders have tried to head off punitive USA action by emphasizing the benefits of the world's biggest trading relationship.

Ross's visit comes a month after Trump ordered a trade investigation into China's intellectual property practices, which prompted Beijing to warn of potential retaliation.

In August, Trump authorised an inquiry into China's alleged theft of intellectual property - the first direct trade measure by his administration against Beijing.

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