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United States and China Take First Steps in Trade Deal

20 May 2017

By that same deadline, the United States said it would issue a proposed rule to allow Chinese cooked poultry to enter US markets, Ross told reporters at a briefing.

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

Under the agreement announced by both nations, China will authorise U.S. beef imports by July 16 while the United States will lift barriers on Chinese cooked poultry exports "as soon as possible".

Under the agreement, the United States would welcome Chinese companies negotiating agreements to purchase US -produced liquefied natural gas. Ross said officials from Dow Chemical Co. gave assurances that increasing exports of natural gas wouldn't harm the US industry or consumers if sales remained less than 30 percent of total output. Meanwhile, Montana and North Dakota's congressional delegates all wrote letters imploring Trump to make opening the Chinese market to US beef a top priority when he met with Chinese leader Xi Jinping at Mar-a-Lago. "I look forward to the day when we can serve President Trump and President Xi a dry-aged American-made NY strip in Beijing", he added. -China trade talks to concerns over North Korea's nuclear ambitions, urging Beijing to exert more pressure on Pyongyang.

Huang Rihan, a researcher at the Centre for China and Globalisation in Beijing, said the agreement put an end to worries about a "trade war" between China and the US.

"Opening the market for electronic payments is mainly symbolic", said Ker Gibbs, chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai.

"We'd like to see the actions that go with the commitments", Gibbs said in an emailed statement.

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"We believe that Sino-U.S. economic cooperation is the trend of the times", Chinese Vice Finance Minister Zhu Guangyao told reporters in Beijing. "American companies, workers, farmers and more are eager for more access to Chinese markets and they'll look to ensure reality matches the rhetoric of these promises", Mulhauser said.

China agreed to give "full and prompt market access" to payments companies, like Mastercard Inc. "That is a huge shot in the arm for market access and opportunities for US beef".

In financial services, China said it would begin allowing wholly foreign-owned financial groups to offer credit rating services in China by July 16.

Although there are limited supplies of United States hormone-free beef available, there would be limited scope for the USA to supply China with beef at any volume without a change in attitude. Market access to China is crucial for USA cattle producers.

U.S. President Donald Trump's administration has ended this week by improving a crucial but at times testy relationship with China.

The United States is fast becoming a major LNG exporter, though few of its export cargoes to date have been shipped to China.

But he said there's no specific date on when it may happen, and it would be dependent on China complying with USA standards. American Express Co. shares were down 0.6 percent.

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The new deal does not touch on issues such as Chinese exports of steel and aluminum that are a growing source of discontent over trade.

Aside from easing restrictions on American beef and liquefied natural gas, Thursday's agreement would lift restrictions to allow USA electronic payment processors to operate in China. Those projects need to secure long-term supply agreements to underpin their financing before construction can begin.

"With the rising standards of living there [China], it's pretty clear that this already big $2.5 billion market could grow very rapidly", Ross said during an interview with Maria Bartiromo on "Sunday Morning Futures". "This is more than has been done in the whole history of U.S".

But with China, which accounts for half of America's trade deficit, Washington is now assuming a starkly different attitude.

The U.S. industry has been pushing for the ban to be removed so that it can help tap into the burgeoning demand of China's middle class. Trump declared success last month in gaining greater access to China for U.S. beef suppliers following meetings with Xi.

"If they get a chance to taste the American beef, it's just going to sell itself".

The agreement also calls for China to issue bond underwriting and settlement licenses to two qualified USA financial institutions by July 16.

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