US commerce secretary calls on China to do more to reduce trade tensions

US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross has called on China to do more in terms of market access and trade fairness as tensions over the bilateral trade grow.

In a speech delivered at a recent forum held at the Atlantic Council, a think tank based in Washington, Ross asked China to give American businesses wider access to its market, otherwise the United States would launch more trade investigations against Beijing.

Ross' remarks came after the Donald Trump administration formally rejected China's demand of being treated as a market economy under the global trading rules and self-initiated an anti-dumping investigation into the imports of aluminium sheeting from China. The moves have heightened the trade tensions between the world's two largest economies, which still have differences over the North Korean nuclear issue.

In the speech, Ross said that the United States seeks freedom, fairness and reciprocity in trade and cannot stand unfair trade practices hurting US interests and employment.

Ross called on the trading partners to set less trade barriers, saying that the United States would like to conduct trade negotiations with any country in the Asia-Pacific region in the principle of freedom, fairness and reciprocity.

The official placed great value on President Trump's visit to China in November, when the two countries signed $250 billion in deals, but Ross emphasized that the big deals could not help significantly narrow the US trade deficit with China.

However, Ross said that he was confident of the future of the US-China trade and downplayed the global concerns about a trade war between the two nations.

Also, Ross denied the notion that the United States was planning to withdraw from Asia, saying that the "Indo-Pacific" strategy initiated by the Trump administration would be a strategy bigger than Obama's Trans-Pacific Partnership, which Ross said lacks certain political arrangements.

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