Secretaries of State, Treasury, and Commerce discuss Trump – Xi meeting

TillersosnSecretary of State Tillerson. I think what I would really want you to get a grasp of is that both the atmosphere, the chemistry between the two leaders was positive.  The posture between the two really set the tone for our subsequent meetings between our high-level delegations.  And I would tell you the exchanges were very frank.  They were candid, they were open, and they were very positive.  So I think all of us are feeling very good about the results of this summit in terms of what it did for setting a very constructive tone going forward.

The two leaders had positive, productive meetings.  President Trump and President Xi agreed to work in concert to expand areas of cooperation while managing differences based on mutual respect.

The two Presidents reviewed the current state of the bilateral relationship and noted the importance of working together to generate positive outcomes that would benefit the citizens of both of our countries.  President Trump noted the challenges caused by Chinese government intervention in its economy and raised serious concerns about the impact of China’s industrial, agricultural, technology, and cyber policies on U.S. jobs and exports.  The President underscored the need for China to take concrete steps to level the playing field for American workers, stressing repeatedly the need for reciprocal market access.

The two sides had candid discussions on regional and maritime security.  President Trump noted the importance of adherence to international norms in the East and South China Seas and to previous statements on non-militarization.  He also noted the importance of protecting human rights and other values deeply held by Americans.

The two Presidents agreed to elevate existing bilateral talks to reflect the importance of making progress on issues.  They established a new high-level framework for negotiations.  The U.S.-China Comprehensive Dialogue will be overseen by the two Presidents, and it will have four pillars:  the diplomatic and security dialogue; the comprehensive economic dialogue; the law enforcement and cybersecurity dialogue; and the social and cultures issues dialogue.

The two sides agreed to undertake an ambitious agenda and schedule to show progress and achieve meaningful results.  President Trump welcomed President Xi’s invitation to visit China for a state visit at a future date.  They agreed to work together in the interim to ensure successful and results-focused visits.

mnuchin-2Treasury Secretary Mnuchin. We focused specifically on a more balanced economic relationship, specifically on trade.  And we focused on the desire to have very specific action items both in the short term for the next time we get together, as well as what the goals are over the year.  So I think we think the restructuring of the dialogue and having specifically a breakout that will address comprehensive economic opportunities across our different agencies both here and within China I think we felt was very productive, very good start in how we’re going to structure it, and again, very specific things that we talked about to look forward on making progress in the short term on.

Wilbur RossCommerce Secretary Ross. I think in many ways, the most significant thing was a 100-day plan.  Normally, trade discussions, especially between China and ourselves, are denominated in multiple years.  This was denominated in the first instance in 100 days with hopefully way stations of accomplishment along the way.  Given the range of issues and the magnitude, that may be ambitious, but it’s a very big sea change in the pace of discussions.  And I think that’s a very very important symbolization of the growing rapport between the two countries.  As other trade issues, you would not have expected us to reach agreement in a few hours of meetings.  The issues are far more complex and far more deep rooted.  But 100-days is a very, very short time for trade.The exact way stations are a matter of negotiation itself.  But, directionally, the objective is to increase our exports to China and to reduce the trade deficit that we have with them. tt was a very wide range of products that we discussed, not a particularly limited one.  And the most interesting thing to me was they expressed an interest in reducing their net trade balance because of the impact it’s having on money supply and inflation.  That’s the first time I’ve heard them say that in a bilateral context.


White House Press Release: Briefing by Secretary Tillerson, Secretary Mnuchin, and Secretary Ross on President Tump’s Meeting with President Xi of China, Apr 7, 2017


About the author  ⁄ AmCham Vietnam

AmCham is an independent association of companies with the objective of promoting trade and investment between Vietnam and the U.S. With two chapters, one in Ho Chi Minh City and one in Hanoi, our membership of 700 companies and 1,500 representatives is unified by a commitment to promote trade and investment between Vietnam and the United States.

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