US President Donald Trump to ask China to cease predatory trade practices, says White House

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Washington | Published: November 1, 2017 5:13:49 AM

President Donald Trump would ask China to cease "predatory" trade and investment practices, the White House said, alleging that Chinese "distortionary" practices are effecting the US market.

Donald Trump, China, trade practices, white house, US marketsPresident Donald Trump would ask China to cease “predatory” trade and investment practices, the White House said, alleging that Chinese “distortionary” practices are effecting the US market.(Reuters)

President Donald Trump would ask China to cease “predatory” trade and investment practices, the White House today said, alleging that Chinese “distortionary” practices are effecting the US market. The US would like to see China move towards more market- oriented, systemic changes that would be necessary to help it thrive and enhance growth in the region, a senior administration official has said. “On China, a big focus of the discussion, with the Chinese government and also with Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) economies is a need to have a balance in the trading relationship for bilateral economic relations to be sustainable,” the official said on condition of anonymity. Over long term, China must provide fair and reciprocal treatment not just to US firms but to firms across the region.

“That means ceasing predatory trade and investment practices,” the official said ahead of Trump’s 12-day visit to the Indo-Pacific region. Trump would also visit Japan, South Korea, China, Vietnam and the Philippines. Noting that progress on a range of bilateral economic issues has become increasingly difficult, the official said the US believes this reflects a slowdown and even a retreat in China’s move towards a market-oriented economy. “China is now so large that its distortionary practices not only have effects within the US market, but in markets around the world,” the official said. “For countries to thrive in the region, we need to have a removal of these state-driven subsidies and a more market- oriented economic approach. The current trajectory is not sustainable not just for the United States but also for countries in the region,” the official said.

Therefore, it will be no surprise that the president will continue to push China to follow through on commitments that it’s made recently and also when it joined the World Trade Organisation to take steps towards a more market-oriented economy, the official added. There was a period where China took on a lot of underlying economic reforms and it did lead to some significant growth, both in their exports, but also opportunities for others for others to engage in that economy, the official said. “I think what we’re seeing is a trajectory of retrenchment, a trajectory of moving away from market-based principles. And as member of the WTO that is not a sustainable direction. It is not a way to promote economic growth in the region. It’s not a way for American and other companies to ensure fair access to that market,” the official said. The US would like to see China move towards more the market-oriented, systemic changes that would be necessary to help really thrive and enhance growth in the region, and help all the economies thrive, the official added.

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