China signed business deals with U.S. companies during President Donald Trump’s visit. The deals include purchases of American chip-sets, jetliners and soybeans. According to Zhong Shan, Chinese Commerce Minister, the total worth of the agreements is 253.4 billion dollars.
Such contract signings are a fixture of visits to Beijing by foreign leaders and are intended to defuse foreign complaints about China’s trade surpluses and market barriers. They often represent purchases Chinese mobile phone makers, airlines and other customers already planned to make that are collected for the visit, which would mean they do little to change the trade balance.
Narrowing of the U.S. trade deficit with China is a priority for Trump. This kind of contracts were welcomed by the American Chamber of Commerce in China, which has also said that the American president might be paying less attention on other important issues like complaints about restrictions on access to finance, health care and other industries in China’s state-dominated economy because of his focus on trade in goods. Chinese President Xi Jinping said that China will open its doors for foreign companies, while his American counterpart promised to change unfair trade relations.
“China will not close its doors and will open even wider,” said Xi.
He added that the Chinese market will be more open, more transparent and more orderly for American and other foreign companies. Chinese purchase of Boeing Co. jetliners for $37 billion, mobile phone chip-sets from Qualcomm for $12 billion, $1.6 billion of soybeans and vehicles and parts from General Motors Co. and Ford Motor Co. for a total of $11.7 billion are just some of the business deals. China and U.S. agreed to cooperate on a gas project in Alaska, valued at 43 billion dollars, as well as on a shale gas demonstration project, valued at 83.7 billion dollars. After Canada and Mexico, China is the third export market for the U.S.