China and the United States announced more than $250 billion in business deals during US President Donald Trump’s state visit to Beijing on Thursday.
The deals range from billions in Chinese soybean and aircraft imports to major projects like the development and export of liquefied natural gas from Alaska. The signing of more than a dozen deals did little to quiet Trump’s complaints about China’s “unfair” trade practices.
President Xi Jinping acknowledged there has been some “friction” in the trade relationship and called for more US companies to participate in China’s signature Belt and Road Initiative, a massive global trade infrastructure program.
“To keep opening up is our long term strategy. We will not narrow or close our doors. We will open them wider and wider,” Xi told an audience of business executives. After the signing ceremony, China’s commerce minister Zhong Shan praised the deals as “truly a miracle, not just in the history of US-China relations, but in the history of the whole world”.
But some analysts say any large deals will do little to shift the overall balance of trade unless the structural barriers preventing US businesses from competing fairly in China are changed.
The gas deal between the state of Alaska, Alaska Gasline Development Corp, China Petrochemical Corp (Sinopec), China Investment Corporation (CIC) and the Bank of China involves a total investment of up to $43 billion.
Official said the joint development agreement will create up to 12,000 American jobs and reduce the trade deficit between the United States and Asia by $10 billion annually. In turn, it will provide China with clean and affordable energy.