Tensions between Washington and Beijing seem to have eased in the economic talks between US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and top Chinese officials.
Washington had called for a rebalancing of the global economy and Beijing has pledged to try to boost demand for its goods within China and continue to let its currency rise in value against the dollar.
Geithner welcomed that and said: “After joining the WTO, China became significantly more open to imports and to foreign investments. We want to encourage you to go further, to take additional steps to make sure that companies that export to China, that operate in China and that compete with Chinese companies around the world are competing on a level playing field.”
Last year the annual US trade deficit with China fell to just under 227 billion dollars from a record 268 billion euros in 2008.
But Washington is keen to sell more to the Chinese and the fact that China exports so much more than it imports remains a point of friction.
Europe’s debt problems and the weak euro were also discussed with both sides expressing cautious optimism that any fallout would be limited.
The euro zone accounts for 18.4 percent of China’s total trade.