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China, U.S. kick off high-level trade talks ahead of Trump presidency

Reporter: Sean Callebs 丨 CCTV.com

11-24-2016 12:21 BJT

Beijing and Washington have concluded a round of high-level trade talks in Washington. With President Obama's tenure in the White House coming to an end in January, there's real concern in China that the progress made over the last few years could be undone by the president-elect, Donald Trump, who was quite vocal in his criticism of China during his campaign.

Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang (C), U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker (L) and U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman pose for a photograph at the 27th Session of the China-U.S. Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade (JCCT) in Washington D.C., capital of the United States, on Nov. 23, 2016. (Xinhua/Yin Bogu)

Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang (C), U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker (L) and U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman pose for a photograph at the 27th Session of the China-U.S. Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade (JCCT) in Washington D.C., capital of the United States, on Nov. 23, 2016. (Xinhua/Yin Bogu)

China is praising the progress made between the world’s two largest economies over the past eight years.

"We are pleased to note in recent years despite a sluggish global economy and global trade—china-us ecnomic cooperation and trade has defied the downward trend and maintained steady growth and produced many highlights," Chinese vice premier Wang Yang said.

China’s Vice Premier noted, at the annual gathering of the 27th U.S.-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade held in Washington, that bilateral trade between the U.S.and China has grown 4.8% over the last three years…With Chinese investment directly responsible for creating 100-thousand U.S. jobs. China is now the United States’ largest trading partner – with U.S. investment in China up more than 20-percent this year.

But with all the positives –there is concern on the horizon, as U.S.President-elect Donald Trump prepares to take office.

Throughout the U.S Presidential campaign, Trump railed against China, saying –the U.S. was losing jobs because of U.S.-China trade policies.

And he labeled China a currency manipulator – an accusation China’s delegates atthe J-C-C-T say is not backed up by facts.

"I think people from academic community –business community, as well as government officials have agreed that china is not... China has made substantial progress in reforming its exchange rate mechanism," Chinese assistant minister of Commerce Zhang Xiangchen said.

Trump is also promising to hammer China with a 45-percent tariff on goods coming into the United States asa way to chip away at the massive U.S. trade deficit.

China joined the World Trade Organization in 2001– and could take its case to the W-T-O.

"I think after Mr. Trump takes office, he will be reminded that the u-s should honor its obligations as a member of the world trade organization," Zhang said.

Trump has threatened to try to pull the United States out of the WTO. It’s clear from the meeting that China wants to move to a market-based economy. But U.S.officials say at this point – there’s too much Chinese government control in China’s economy.

It's  a conversation that we have engaged in, but it is not one at this moment that is ripe for us to change our protocol," US Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker said.

There’s a lot at stake for China, getting market economy status would make it more difficult for nations to pursue anti-dumping challenges against beijing. Right, the U.S., The European Union and other trading partners are debating the issue. China says getting market economy status is part of an agreement reached when it joined the WTO 15 years ago. Beijing is hoping to win recognition by December 11th, the deadline for China's partners to make their decision or the provision will expire.

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