April 19, 2024

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Janet Yellen travels to China to advocate against 'unfair' practices.

Janet Yellen travels to China to advocate against 'unfair' practices.

Washington (AFP) – US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen will travel to China, on her second visit to China in less than a year, to discuss Beijing's trade practices that Washington considers “unfair.”

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The trip, which continues until Tuesday, begins in Guangzhou (south) with a meeting with American businessmen living in the country and local officials.

In this southern city, he will meet with Vice Premier He Feng, before returning to Beijing to hold meetings with his counterpart Lan Fu'an, Premier Li Qiang, and Central Bank Governor Pan Gongsheng.

His previous trip, eight months ago, helped stabilize the turbulent relationship between the world's two largest economies, especially through the establishment of bilateral working groups.

This time, Yellen hopes to talk about “large investments in China in a range of industries, leading to increased production capacity” in terms of production, he told reporters.

He added: “We are concerned about the effects of Chinese support for these industries in the United States as well as in other countries.”

Among the sectors that raise concerns, the Treasury Secretary pointed to lithium-ion batteries and electric cars, the production of which the United States is trying to develop with the help of subsidies.

Regarding the possibility of imposing customs duties to pressure China, Janet Yellen said that she “does not want to rule out any means” to protect these industries.

“We know who to call”

But if trade measures are to be taken, it is important for Beijing to understand that this is not “a series of anti-China actions,” as US Treasury Undersecretary for International Affairs Jay Shambaugh has insisted.

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At the end of 2023, Yellen confirmed that Washington will continue to demand more clarity in Chinese economic policy. The difficulties of the real estate market and the debts of municipal authorities raise fears of global repercussions.

A Treasury Department official said that economic relations and cooperation between the two countries “are undoubtedly stronger now than they were two years ago.”

According to Brent Neiman, an advisor to Janet Yellen, the two countries' central banks have significantly compared their climate risk models.

“We know our counterparts, we know their system, they know our system, and frankly, if something goes wrong, we know who to call,” he told AFP.

Semiconductors

According to Bill Bishop, who publishes the online newsletter Sinocism, the “deterioration” in Sino-American relations came to an end last year, “but there is no sign of a more sustainable change,” meaning it will reverse the trend. .

Beijing remains troubled by efforts to restrict China's access to high-tech semiconductors. But with the US elections approaching, “neither party is planning to launch bilateral negotiations or initiatives,” says Patricia Kim, a researcher at the Brookings Institution.

“Beijing, like many other capitals, will likely be in a wait-and-see mode” in the November election: if either Democrat Joe Biden or Republican Donald Trump, whose term has been marked by a sharp increase in trade tensions, wins, that would be certain.