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US to be China's largest trade partner

Publication Date : 05-06-2013

 

China and the United States will probably become each other's largest trade partner by 2022, and China will surpass Canada and Mexico to become the largest importer of US goods by then, said a report released on Tuesday.

The report — "US-China Economic Relations in the Next 10 Years: Toward Deeper Engagement and Mutual Benefit" — was released by the China-US Exchange Foundation, and strongly suggests that the world's top two economies deepen their cooperation over the next decade.

It said closer ties will benefit the US, helping promote its exports to China and to add jobs domestically, thanks to China's commitment to advancing its urbanisation drive and the nation's expanding middle class.

The report was released just days before President Xi Jinping's visit to the US — where he will have his first formal meeting with US President Barack Obama since taking office in March — and six weeks before the Strategic Economic Dialogue between the two countries in Washington.

According to the report, by 2022, the US is expected to surpass the European Union to become China's largest trade partner. It also said China will become the largest importer in the world, with its imports from the US expected to surpass US$530 billion, three times the current figure.

By then, US exports to China is projected to create 1.81 million new jobs in the country, and the value of China's exports to the US is expected to grow to $805 billion.

The report said the two nations are complementary to each other, and enhanced ties will benefit both sides.

It suggested that in the next 10 years China and the US should expand cooperation in agriculture, tourism and science and technology — particularly in areas related to energy; jointly advance the Doha Round talks; and conduct negotiations over bilateral free trade agreement. It also encouraged Chinese investment in the US, especially in infrastructure.

"Enhanced bilateral economic cooperation would generate huge commercial benefits for either side and create millions of jobs in both countries," said Tung Chee-hwa, chairman of the China-US Exchange Foundation.

China and the US are each other's second-largest trade partner. In 2012, China-US trade reached $484.7 billion.

China's cumulative outbound direct investment in the US' non-financial sector reached $10 billion by the end of 2012, while cumulative US direct investment in China stood at $70 billion, according to the Ministry of Commerce.

"We all agree that we want to see the US-China relationship succeed. We have made progress in some of the bilateral issues. We have not yet in my mind filled our full potential," said Myron Brilliant, executive vice-president and head of the international affairs at the US Chamber of Commerce.

Carlos Gutierrez, former secretary of commerce, agreed. He said that China-US relations are "very much like a marriage. We are still in the early years … What we've done in the past 30 years is very small compared to what we can do together in the next 30 years".

China and the US are heralding a new period of development. China is committed to expanding domestic consumption and to advancing urbanisation, and the US plans to add jobs and expand exports in addition to conducting massive infrastructure projects.

According to Gary Locke, the US ambassador to China, the two countries "are so economically interdependent, and that will not change".

Huo Jianguo, president of the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation, said: "China-US cooperation does not only matter to the two countries, it is extremely important to help stabilise global growth."

 

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