Treat our companies fairly, US tells China

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BEIJING United States Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross told China there is a need for it to "guarantee fair and reciprocal treatment for US firms" during a visit to Beijing, where he tried to strike an upbeat tone amid trade tensions between the two countries.

He told Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Monday that the US hopes for "very good deliverables" when US President Donald Trump visits China, likely in November.

In a statement yesterday, the US Commerce Department said Mr Ross had also pressed China on the "need to rebalance bilateral trade and investment relations" and urged it to take "meaningful action" on trade issues.

"Secretary Ross once again continued to stress the need for concrete action to address the concerns of US businesses and that the US would take action to defend American workers and businesses if cooperative efforts bear no fruit," it said.

China committed to further market opening and welcomed participation by US firms, with both sides supporting talks to resolve trade frictions, it added.


Mr Ross met senior Chinese officials, including Vice-Premier Wang Yang, who handles an annual US-China economic dialogue, and Mr He Lifeng, head of China's state planning agency, the National Development and Reform Commission.

China's relationship with the US has been strained by the Trump administration's criticism of China's trade practices and by demands that Beijing do more to pressure North Korea to halt its nuclear weapons and missiles programmes.

Mr Ross's trip to China to "prepare the ground" for Mr Trump's visit comes after the US administration earlier this month blocked a Chinese-backed private equity firm from buying a US-based chipmaker.

Last month, Mr Trump authorised an inquiry into China's alleged theft of intellectual property - the first direct trade measure by his administration against Beijing. - REUTERS