BOFIT Viikkokatsaus / BOFIT Weekly 2017/15

Chinese president Xi Jinping and US president Donald Trump had their first meeting last week (Apr. 6–7) during Xi's visit to Trump's Florida estate. Given Trump's harsh criticism of China during the campaign, the get-together was followed globally with great interest. The meeting appeared quite congenial. The two countries agreed to conduct trade negotiations within the next 100 days to discuss ways of boosting US exports to China. China said it would start importing of American beef again after a ban that it had imposed in 2003 on fears of mad cow disease. The impact of such measures on rebalancing the trade is likely to be minimal, but the threat of the US imposing heavy retaliatory tariffs on Chinese goods now seems unlikely.

China also promised to improve access of US firms to its financial sector. Opening of the financial sector was a part of the bilateral investment treaty negotiations during the Obama administration. The treaty is reportedly close to finalisation. However, Trump has yet to take a public stance on it.

Chinese media report that strategic and economic dialogue that began during the Obama administration will go on in a modified form. Moreover, the communication channels between the US and Chinese militaries will be improved through a "dialogue mechanism" to avoid misunderstandings.