China's Auto Industry Source of Concern for "Fair" Trade with U.S.

September 27, 2017 03:17 PM

When it comes to trade, President Donald Trump wants trade deals with foreign countries to be “fair.” China is no exception.

This week, U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross is spending time in Beijing with China’s President Xi Jinping’s administration.

Trade relationships between the two countries have been strained, and Ross has called China the “most protectionist” country when it comes to Chinese trade practices.

In recent weeks, Trump has pointed to China’s large trade surpluses with the U.S., and has threatened to hike tariffs on steel.

“The biggest problem we have is the U.S. unilaterally gave away so much to the rest of the world—that is very hard to get back,” said Ross.

China has been turning its focus on the auto industry, one area Ross is particularly concerned.

“If you look at our trade balance, there’s one big geographic source and that’s China, and there’s one big product source—and that’s automotive and automotive parts,” he said. “If we can resolve China and resolve automotive, you in theory could resolve the whole trade deficit.”

Ross expressed the U.S. doesn’t mind competition, but the imbalance needs to be on a more “fair and level playing field.”

This meeting precedes Trump’s visit to China later in the year.

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