The Sino-U.S. presidential summit last week will result in a 100-day trade talks that would aim at resolving decades of thorny trade issues. U.S. business leaders are wary that the short timeline of the talks might yield superficial results.
They are also worried that President Trump’s interest in curtailing North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs would hurt U.S. commercial interests in China.
After meeting President Xi, Mr. Trump tweeted that China would get a better trade deal if it helped U.S. in solving Pyongyang issue.
The former Chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce in China and currently a lawyer based in Beijing, James Zimmerman told Reuters that the U.S. business community should not be used as a “bargaining chip.” He said:
“Trump’s far better trade deal linkage to North Korea is amateurish, illogical horse trading, at best.”
According to White House, the U.S. and Chinese officials are in the process of formulating the 100-day plan to reduce U.S. trade deficits with China, which reached $347bn last year.
The 100-day trade talks are one of the public outcomes of the first meeting between the two leaders in Florida.
Although Mr. Trump has promised to address trade imbalances aggressively and open the Chinese market to more American goods and services, the Chamber’s current chairman, William Zarit, said that the talks need to address the “structural impediments.” He said:
“We’d rather be talking than having a trade war. But remember we’ve been talking for 20 years and haven’t gotten very far.”
The White House has said that many issues including opening up China’s financial services sector and getting U.S. beef exports into China were up for talks.
The reaction to the issue of beef export has been mixed, with some taking it as a positive move, while others remain skeptical.
Individual companies are hesitant in their criticism of China because of the fear of the backlash; however, critics from U.S. business groups accuse China of unfairly subsidizing its domestic firms and restricting foreign investment into the country.