China-U.S. trade war averted with ‘100-day plan’

Business & Technology

Top business and technology news for April 10, 2017. Part of the daily SupChina news roundup "Anti-corruption reality TV."

This picture taken on August 26, 2016 shows a driver uses his smartphone to pay the highway toll by way of Alipay, an app of Alibaba's online payment service, at Pengbu toll station on the Hangzhou-Ningbo Expressway in Hangzhou in Zhejiang province on September 21, 2016.

Chinese President Xi Jinping and U.S. President Donald Trump met for the first time last week at Trump’s private club Mar-a-Lago in Florida. Video has circulated of Ivanka Trump’s daughter singing in Chinese to Xi and his wife, Peng Liyuan. More importantly, the Financial Times reports (paywall) that a trade war has been averted thanks to a “100-day plan” aimed at addressing trade imbalances between China and the U.S.

While the details of the plan are still being worked out, they are likely to include a range of sectors, from agricultural imports to foreign investment, with the goal of increasing U.S. exports to China and reducing the $347 billion trade deficit in goods. Wilbur Ross, the American commerce secretary, said that Chinese officials had agreed on the need for a more balanced trade relationship in part because of the concern about dangerous financial imbalances. “They expressed an interest in reducing their net trade balance because of the impact it’s having on money supply and inflation,” Ross said. “That’s the first time I’ve heard them say that in a bilateral context.” Prior to the meeting and on his campaign trail, Trump claimed that he would start a trade war with China, adding that China and Mexico “are killing” the U.S. Relations are likely to remain complicated by concerns about Chinese investment in U.S. semiconductor and other technology companies that could be a threat to the U.S. economy.