US Commerce Chief Heads To China For Tough Talks

Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo is visiting China for a four-day visit to enhance business ties between the two largest economies.

The US focuses on protecting what is necessary and promoting where it can, as relations between the US and its allies are strained. China has imposed restrictions on shipments from Micron Technology. A U.S. company, Mintz Group, was fined $1.5 million for engaging in “unapproved statistical work.”

Raimondo will hold bilateral meetings with Chinese officials in Beijing before heading to Shanghai. She spoke to President Joe Biden about her visit and emphasized the importance of regular communication to avoid conflict.

Republicans in Congress have expressed concerns about Raimondo potentially establishing a working group with China to discuss U.S. semiconductor export controls. Raimondo emphasized that she would tell Chinese officials regarding national security that they do not negotiate.

The US is implementing government incentives and tax policies to reduce American businesses’ reliance on Chinese supply chains and increase domestic semiconductor production.

China’s ambassador to the US, Xie Feng, met Raimondo last week and expressed China’s desire for mutual respect, peaceful coexistence, and win-win cooperation. The White House has taken steps to restrict specific U.S. investment in sensitive technologies in China and is finalizing comprehensive export restrictions on advanced semiconductors.

Raimondo is the first high-level U.S. official to visit China recently, and she spoke to over 100 senior business leaders before the visit. She noted that China’s unfair trading practices have damaged American companies and their workers.

China is interested in collaborating with the U.S. to find practical areas in the economic relationship where cooperation is possible, especially with President Xi Jinping’s potential visit to the U.S. in less than three months. Additionally, Raimondo aims to increase travel and tourism between the two countries. China returning to 2019 U.S. tourism levels would result in a $30 billion boost to the U.S. economy and create 50,000 U.S. jobs.