US Trade Representative Tai discusses trade with Chinese minister

WASHINGTON (Reuters): US Trade Representative Katherine Tai discussed the importance of U.S.-China trade relations in a meeting on Friday with Chinese Commerce Minister Wang Wentao, her office said.

Tai stressed the importance of maintaining open lines of communication between Washington and Beijing as they spoke on the sidelines of an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting in Detroit, the statement said.

“Ambassador Tai highlighted the need to address the critical imbalances caused by China’s state-led, non-market approach to the economy and trade policy. She also raised concerns about PRC (People’s Republic of China) actions taken against U.S. companies operating there,” the statement said.

The talks came a day after U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo and Wang traded barbs on trade, investment and export policies in their own meeting, the first U.S.-China cabinet-level exchange in months between the world’s two largest economies.

U.S. President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping pledged more frequent communications at a G20 summit in Indonesia last November to avoid U.S.-China tensions from turning into a new Cold War.

But those plans suffered several setbacks, starting with the downing of a Chinese spy balloon in U.S. coastal waters.

These irritants continued through last Sunday when G7 leaders pledged to resist China’s “economic coercion” and Beijing responded by declaring U.S. memory chip maker Micron Technology (MU.O) a national security risk, banning its sales to key domestic industries.