Today, the top banking regulator of China said that the country can “absolutely” reach an agreement with the United States on opening up its financial sector even as the commerce minister of the country admitted that the negotiations with Washington had been challenging.
Both countries have been working to resolve a bitter trade dispute that has affected financial markets and disrupted the supply chains across the globe in a blow to global growth.
Last Sunday, a source briefed regarding the negotiations said that China and the United States seem to be close to a deal that would roll back the tariffs that were imposed by the United States on at least $200 billion worth of goods from China, as Beijing makes commitments on structural economic changes and eliminates retaliatory tariffs that were imposed on goods from the United States.
Washington has slammed China of limiting market access for US companies, forcing firms to transfer technology and giving little protection for intellectual property rights.
In a speech on the sidelines of the annual meeting of parliament in China, the chairman of the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission, Guo Shuqing, said that while he could not disclose details on the discussions, reaching an agreement in the financial area should not pose problems.
Guo stated: “On the opening of the financial sector, China and the United States absolutely can reach an agreement. Though at present there may be a few small disagreements, the problems are not that great.”
The United States has also expressed concerns regarding the value of China’s yuan.
Guo reemphasised that China did not engage in the competitive devaluation of the yuan currency.
Talking separately on the sidelines of the parliament, Zhong Shan, China’s Commerce Minister, said that trade negotiations with the United States have been challenging.
He stated: “There is a lot of content in the consultations, the difficulty is great. This needs our teams to work overtime, day and night.”
He added: “At present working teams are still continuing negotiations, as we still have a lot to do.”
Zhong said that the trade negotiations have achieved a breakthrough in some areas. He added that both the United States and China and the global economy stand to benefit if both countries can reach a trade deal.
Zhong noted that the United States and China should seek common ground while setting aside their differences if they wish to reach a consensus.