$9 billion in bilateral trade agreements just a 'warmup'

By Hu Yongqi | China Daily | Updated: 2017-11-09 09:41

Chinese and US companies signed 19 agreements valued at about $9 billion on Wednesday covering areas such as energy, food and transport. It was an effort that Vice-Premier Wang Yang called a "warmup" for more agreements ahead.

The signings were witnessed by Wang and US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross after their meeting at the Great Hall of the People, where they exchanged in-depth views on issues related to China-US economic and trade relations.

The agreements were signed in a ceremony hosted by the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade as part of the business cooperation achieved during US President Donald Trump's visit to China. A variety of areas were covered.

Hu Weiwei, founder of bike-sharing company Mobike Technology Co, signed an agreement to buy polyurethane tires from the US company DowDuPont Inc. Liu Qiangdong, founder and CEO of the e-commerce company, agreed to buy beef from the state of Montana and will also purchase pork from the US via another agreement.

The China Chamber of Commerce of Foodstuffs and Native Produce signed an agreement with the US Soybean Export Council to import a large amount of soybeans. Reignwood Star, a civil aviation company based in Beijing, agreed to buy helicopters from Bell Helicopter.

Wang and Ross have maintained close exchanges-the vice-premier met with Ross in September in Beijing and they spoke on the phone last month in preparation for Trump's visit.

The economic relations that have been serving as the ballast for China-US relations and their development should be attributed to entrepreneurs from both nations, Wang said.

Every rational action by an enterprise can help stabilize China-US economic relations, which in return can provide a better foundation for cooperation between enterprises, the vice-premier said.

Ross said the US-China relationship is one of the most important trade and investment relationships in the world. "China was our third-largest goods export market in 2016. Over the last decade, US goods exported to China have doubled, growing by nearly 10 percent per year," he said.

Ross said there is much potential for higher growth and the strength of US-China trade is built on individual contracts and partnerships. "Today's signings can show how we can build up our bilateral trade," he added.

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