China is open to visit by US commerce secretary: MOFCOM
Published: Mar 08, 2023 09:22 PM
The Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) Photo: VCG

The Ministry of Commerce Photo: VCG

In response to media reports that US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo is considering a trip to China this year, China's Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) said on Wednesday it has not received any proposals yet, but is open to the visit, adding that it is important for both sides to maintain communication.

The MOFCOM said that the Chinese side will remain committed to addressing concerns held by both sides and promoting constructive and practical cooperation through dialogue.

Raimondo said in an interview with Bloomberg in Washington on March 2 that she is considering a trip to China this year.

"I'm certainly going to be sending my team over - probably even this spring. We're trying to work that out. And yes, I think probably I would (go)", she said.

The reported visit comes amid lingering tensions between the two countries and increased US efforts to restrict China's technology development.

As the latest example, the US Commerce Department added 28 Chinese entities to its trade blacklist on March 2.

The bilateral trade between the two countries fell 10.6 percent year-on-year to 703 billion yuan ($101.4 billion) in the first two months this year.
The drop can be explained by a number of factors, such as growing trade protectionism by the US, weaker consumer demand and restrictions on US high-tech exports to China, Gao Lingyun, an expert at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing, told the Global Times on Wednesday. 

"The trade protectionism of the US has a heavy impact on China-US trade, which is most directly reflected in its ban of high-tech exports to China," Gao said, predicting the declining trend in bilateral trade will persist through the first quarter.

By 2025, US companies could lose 18 percentage points of global share and 37 percent of their revenues if the US completely bans semiconductor companies from selling to Chinese customers, according to a recent report by Boston Consulting Group.

However, as the world's two largest economies, China and US have the potential to expand economic and trade exchanges, experts noted, urging the US to redress its protectionism.

Despite tensions, in 2022, bilateral goods trade reached a record high of $750 billion, a reminder that the world's two biggest economies remain deeply intertwined.

The trade potential between the two sides is not being fully released due to US protectionism, which has restricted trade growth, undermined the comparative advantage of America and harmed the confidence of Chinese and American companies to strengthen cooperation, said Vice Minister of Commerce Wang Shouwen on March 2.

"We need to create a stable and predictable economic and trade environment between China and the US and increase confidence in cooperation between our companies," Wang said.