On May 11, U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross announced that America and China, in the midst of their “100-day” negotiating period, had reached agreements on 10 items in trade between the two countries, Bloomberg reports. Many of the agreements are preliminary and not binding, and some — including on the export of U.S. beef to China and on U.S. payments companies operating in China — had already been agreed, but not implemented, in years prior. Ross hailed the deal as a “herculean accomplishment,” but the chairman of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai dismissed the deal as “not a breakthrough.”
Other items agreed upon, according to the joint statement, include:
- That China would open itself to imports of U.S. beef “no later than July 16, 2017,” and the U.S. would “publish a proposed rule by July 16” to open itself to imports of Chinese cooked poultry “as soon as possible.”
- That “the United States welcomes China…to receive imports of [liquefied natural gas] from the United States.”
- That China will “conduct science-based evaluations of all eight pending U.S. biotechnology product applications,” including bioengineered seeds.
- That China will allow U.S. electronic payment services “full and prompt market access” in the country, through further guidelines issued by July 16 if necessary.
- That the U.S. “recognizes the importance of China’s One Belt and One Road initiative,” and, as mentioned in a separate Reuters report, will send White House adviser Matt Pottinger to Beijing for its OBOR conference.
What comes next? Further negotiations will inevitably focus on issues tougher to resolve than the low-hanging fruit picked in this first round. In addition, the U.S. just confirmed that the next U.S. trade representative will be Robert Lighthizer, who was nominated in January and praised by respected China businessman James McGregor in February, and is noted for pushing very aggressive tactics on China and blaming the country for a “U.S. manufacturing crisis.”
China’s average P2P investors are becoming the opposite of what you’d expect / TechNode
“More women, more third-tier city lenders, falling returns, and larger, longer loans: a new report sheds light on how the world’s largest peer-to-peer (P2P) lending market is changing fast.”
China gives helping hand to credit card industry / Financial Times (paywall)
A “combination of interest rate deregulation and lowered transaction costs…and an increased appetite for borrowing may help give renewed life to credit cards.”
A robot revolution, this time in China / NYT (paywall)
The Times examines one of China’s most automated factories, a Ford car assembly plant in the east-central city of Hangzhou that churns out 250,000 vehicles a year. For more on automation nationwide, read a SupChina summary from last month.
Foreign business groups push for delay in controversial China cyber law / Reuters
“The new regulation includes requirements for data to be stored locally as well as contentious security reviews, which critics [including the EU Chamber of Commerce] say could unfairly target foreign firms.”
China’s stocks are tumbling again. Unlike 2015, the world doesn’t care / Bloomberg
“Global investors are still shaking off a rout that’s erased more than $560 billion from the value of Chinese equities, making them the world’s worst performers since mid-April.”
- Podcast: Interview with Florian Bohnert, Mobike’s head of international expansion / TechNode
- China drafts bitcoin regulations to block money laundering / Caixin