China and the United States returned on Thursday (Wednesday, Washington time) to hold a conversation on trade issues, the third in the past two weeks, China’s Ministry of Commerce said.
Through a brief statement published on its website, the ministry said that the head of Commerce, Wang Wentao, held a telephone conversation with his American counterpart, Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo.
In it, “they exchanged views in a sincere and pragmatic manner on common concerns in the field of trade between China and the United States,” the text indicated.
“Both sides,” the statement added, “declared that dialogue and exchanges in the field of business between China and the United States are very important,” and agreed to promote the healthy development of pragmatic cooperation in trade and investment.
The text of the Chinese Ministry of Commerce indicated that both Wang and Raimondo agreed on the need to continue in contact.
This is the third time in the space of two weeks that Beijing and Washington have reportedly held talks on trade matters, after the virtual meeting between the Chinese chief negotiator and one of the four Chinese vice prime ministers, Liu He, with the US Secretary of the Treasury, Janet Yellen, on June 2 (Beijing time), and Liu’s meeting with the US Trade Representative, Katherine Tai, on May 27.
The latter was the first occasion – since Biden’s accession to the Presidency – on which Beijing and Washington officially addressed their trade relations, stalled since March 2018 because of the trade war.
Last March, Tai advanced that Washington did not foresee lifting in the short term the tariffs imposed on Chinese products during the Trump administration.
The United States had then imposed tariffs on about $370 billion worth of Chinese products annually, around three-quarters of the Asian country’s exports, to which Beijing responded with its own measures against American exports.
The relationship between the two countries began to deteriorate in March 2018, with the start of the trade war and the consequent exchange of tariff impositions, and then drifted into clashes at the diplomatic and technological levels, among others.