New Straits Times - - Business World -

given the far shipping dis­tances.

“This will let China di­ver­sify, some­what, their sources of sup­ply and will pro­vide a huge ex­port mar­ket for Amer­i­can liq­ue­fied nat­u­ral gas pro­duc­ers,” said Ross at a White House brief­ing on Thurs­day.

The agree­ment, which grew out of a 100-day ac­tion plan an­nounced dur­ing an April meet­ing be­tween Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump and Chi­nese Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping, re­flected daily ne­go­ti­a­tions with of­fi­cials in China, said Ross.

Ross said the agree­ment would help to re­duce the grow­ing US trade deficit with China — the coun­try’s largest, to­talling US$347 bil­lion (RM1.5 tril­lion) last year. The trade sur­plus hit US$21.4 bil­lion last month.

China did not de­lib­er­ately pur­sue a trade sur­plus with the US, said vice-com­merce min­is­ter Yu Jian­hua yes­ter­day.

China also agreed to give “full and prompt mar­ket ac­cess” to pay­ments com­pa­nies, like Master­card Inc, Visa Inc and Amer­i­can Ex­press Co.

The US brought a case against China on its elec­tronic pay­ment ser­vices mar­ket in 2010. Af­ter a World Trade Or­gan­i­sa­tion panel ruled against it in 2012, China is­sued new in­dus­try guide­lines in United States trade deficit with China 2015 that it said would clear the way for for­eign firms.

Also in the plan, China agreed to al­low for­eign-owned firms to pro­vide credit rat­ings by July 16.

In a win for US agri­cul­ture, the deal opens China to US beef ex­porters, who have long wanted ac­cess to its more than 1.3 bil­lion peo­ple. China banned Amer­i­can im­ports in 2003 af­ter an out­break of mad-cow dis­ease.

The deal also paves the way for China to ex­port cooked poul­try to the US. The US would pub­lish a pro­posed rule by July 16 to help jump-start the im­ports, it said.

Ad­di­tion­ally on agri­cul­ture, China’s Na­tional Biosafety Com­mit­tee will hold a meet­ing by the end of this month to eval­u­ate eight pend­ing US biotech­nol­ogy prod­uct ap­pli­ca­tions. Agen­cies

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