MOC: China, US should create conditions to push trade deal

(China Daily) 08:43, October 22, 2021

A train loaded with sports equipment bound for the US market is ready to depart from Nanchang, Jiangxi province, for Xiamen Port in Fujian province.[Photo by Hu Shijie/ For China Daily]

Any targeted tariff exclusion move will be welcome, says ministry

Phase-1 of the economic and trade agreement between China and the United States-signed in January 2020-can be mutually beneficial as well as benefit the rest of the world, so the two sides should join hands to create conditions to promote its implementation, China's Ministry of Commerce said on Thursday.

Shu Jueting, spokeswoman of the ministry, said at a media briefing that China would welcome a move by the US to start a targeted tariff exclusion process while keeping open the potential for additional exclusion processes.

"China always believes lifting additional tariffs is in line with the interests of consumers and producers in both countries and also is good for global economic recovery,"Shu said, adding economic and trade teams of the two countries have been maintaining normal communication, and the MOC will release news on any new information.

Shu also delineated China's key tasks to grow its trade in services during 14th Five-Year Plan period (2021-25).

The tasks include deepening reform and expanding opening-up, accelerating digitalization, optimizing industry structure and regional layout, supporting market players, and enriching cross-border cooperation, according to a new development plan released by 24 government departments, including the Ministry of Commerce and the National Development and Reform Commission, the country's top economic regulator, she said.

The plan has included digital trade for the first time to align with the development trend of digitalized, internet-based and intelligent services trade, she said.

The plan emphasized reform and opening-up in a designated chapter, which focused on expanding market access, promoting higher opening-up in cross-border trade in services, and building high-level reform and opening-up platforms.

Wang Tuo, an associate researcher at the Institute of International Trade in Services, which operates under the aegis of the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation, said uncertainties from the COVID-19 pandemic remain a big challenge for China to develop its trade in services, especially as movement of individuals is still obstructed, dampening cross-border economic cooperation and globalization.

In addition, governments of various countries have been stepping up regulation of cross-border data flows relating to personal information. They have also strengthened cybersecurity protection. This will likely have an impact on international cooperation in digital economy, he said.

During the Thursday briefing, the ministry released the latest data on the nation's nonfinancial outbound direct investment for the first three quarters, which fell more than 5 percent year-on-year to 522.76 billion yuan ($81.72 billion).

However, in US dollar terms, the investment increased by 2.4 percent year-on-year to $80.78 billion, with $13.66 billion flowing into manufacturing-up more than 9 percent year-on-year-while $6.2 billion flowed into information transmission, software and information technology services, up more than 37 percent year-on-year.

During the first nine months, China's investment in economies participating in the Belt and Road Initiative reached $14.87 billion, up more than 14 percent year-on-year. This accounted for more than 18 percent of the overall nonfinancial ODI, up 1.9 percentage points from the same period last year.

(Web editor: Zhong Wenxing, Liang Jun)


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