US Treasury Secretary Yellen’s Meeting with Chinese Business Leaders Preceding Trade Discussions

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U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen embarked on her journey to China this Friday, initiating her visit with a session to understand the concerns of American, European, and Japanese businesses operating in the globe’s second-largest economy. This comes before anticipated challenging discussions on trade and various matters with top Chinese officials.

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Upon her arrival in Guangzhou, a key industrial city in the south, Yellen greeted the leaders of the American and European chambers of commerce in China, marking her visit as the first by a Cabinet-level official to China since the meeting between President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping last November.

Her agenda for the five-day visit includes addressing issues the U.S. and several European nations deem unfair in Chinese trade practices.

Eswar Prasad, a Cornell University trade professor, anticipates Yellen will urge Beijing to increase domestic spending and promote equitable competition in emerging tech fields, notably green energy and electric vehicles, ensuring American firms have sufficient market access.

“The U.S. team is particularly concerned about China’s efforts to extend its industrial capacity while aggressively venturing into these sectors,” he mentioned.

China has rebutted claims from the U.S. and Europe regarding overcapacity, highlighting its role in the global green development movement and attributing the growth in Chinese EV and solar product exports to global labor division and market needs.

Wang Wenbin, a spokesperson for China’s Foreign Ministry, criticized the U.S. this week for hindering free commerce by imposing technology export limits to China.

Addressing the accusations of non-market manipulation, he stated, “The reality is clear for all to see. The U.S. has persistently sought to curb China’s trade and technological advancement. This isn’t ‘de-risking’; it’s actually introducing risks.”

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