On Thursday, China announced the signing of business deals with U.S. firms that totaled nearly $253.4 billion during the much-hyped Asian tour of President Trump. A few of these deals weren’t exactly firm contracts and were signed in the midst of a ceremony attended by Xi Jinping, the Chinese President, and Trump.
U.S. and China cooperate on gas projects
The agreements between the two countries included investment in American-manufactured chipsets, soybeans, and jetliners. Both sides were in agreement with regards to cooperating on a special gas project worth $43 billion in Alaska and also an $83.7 billion shale gas display project.
According to Zhong Shan, the Commerce Minister of China, the agreements sealed on Thursday were worth a total of $253.4 billion. And this figure supplemented the $9 billion worth agreements that were signed on Wednesday.
The aim of these contract agreements, a common tradition of Beijing visits by global leaders, is to minimize international complaints relating to the market barriers and trade surpluses of China.
For Trump, it is a priority to reduce the American trade deficit vis-à-vis China ($347 billion in 2016). This was one of the main topics of discussions between Trump and Xi.
China opens up its market for trade
Before Trump was to arrive in China, the American Chamber of Commerce said that it was open to these kinds of contracts but was concerned that the president’s focus on goods trading might lead to home paying less heed to other equally important subjects like restricted access to healthcare, finance and various other industries within the state-dominated economy of China.
Xi said that China was ready to open up its economy and invited foreign investments. But he gave no further details on the subject. Xi added that China would not shut its doors, and in fact, would open them wider. He assured that all international companies, including American firms, would find that the Chinese market is more transparent, open and organized.
Earlier administrations were reported to celebrate similar promises related market-opening, but these promises were often left unattended.
At present, China is reported to be the third largest export center for America, following Mexico and Canada. There was a 77% increase in the American exports to the Asian country between 2007 and 2016. However, Washington recorded a trade deficit of $347 billion with China in 2016.
Trump’s office is also carrying out investigations with regards to whether Beijing puts undesirable pressure on foreign firms to give up control over technology.