XIANGHE, China — Capping a week of top-level trade meetings marked by some acrimony, U.S. and Chinese officials said Thursday they reached several new agreements, including outlines for improved food and product safety.
But key issues remain unresolved, including a faster timetable for appreciation of Chinese currency, China's failure to protect U.S. intellectual property rights and delays in opening Chinese consumer and financial markets to global goods and services.
"We have had substantive, robust and engaging exchanges on a range of issues important to both our nations, including the integrity of trade, balanced growth, including financial services, energy security and environmental sustainability, and bilateral investment," U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson Jr. said in closing the U.S.-China "strategic economic dialogue" talks outside Beijing. "By building closer relationships, we have clarified perceptions and increased understanding, which is vital to keeping our economic relationship on an even keel."
His counterpart, Chinese Vice Premier Wu Yi, also said the talks have created a better understanding of important issues. Wu and Paulson agreed that more work is needed, however, and disagreements persist.
"Both sides need to discuss Sino-U.S. economic relations from a strategic point of view, and map out a better blueprint for future U.S.-China economic trade relations and cooperation," Wu said.
The two countries called for an end to growing nationalist sentiment and trade protectionism, saying antitrade legislation and action will only harm each nation's economic stability. China prodded the U.S. to stop looking eastward for the causes of its own economic problems, while American leaders pushed China to do better on meeting its global trade obligations.
China and the U.S. signed 13 agreements in eight different areas, from environmental protection to food and product safety. The governments will work together to combat illegal logging, increase the number of Chinese tourist visas for the U.S. and make long-term, bilateral plans on energy efficiency.
Even as they reached those agreements, new friction arose. Most notably, U.S. trade officials said they were working to find out whether China has banned the release of new American films within its borders, which The New York Times reported on Thursday. If such a ban has been imposed, they said, the U.S. will pursue action under its pending complaint against China with the World Trade Organization over intellectual property rights.U.S. Trade Representative Susan Schwab and Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez expressed concern over the film situation and said they have not had a definitive answer from China about whether new American releases are being blocked.
"We have spoken forcefully" on the issue, Schwab said. "It has been raised at all appropriate high levels."
Under its WTO entry agreement, China is able to limit to 20 a year the number of new foreign films screened in its theaters. But reports said all approvals for movies from the U.S. have been suspended, which could violate WTO terms. In April, the U.S. lodged two complaints against China with the WTO over intellectual property, including one case that alleged China encourages piracy by censoring and limiting legal movie and other entertainment releases.
A spokesman for the China Film Group Corp., the Chinese release vehicle for international films that screen in this country, was quoted in state-run media saying there is no ban on American films.
Trade tensions between the U.S. and China have risen to new heights amid mounting consumer concerns over safety of food and other products made in China, as well as with China's record trade surplus. U.S. officials maintain that China's undervalued currency is critical in leveling the trade field, but Chinese leaders said they will revalue the yuan slowly, at their own pace, to maintain economic stability.
Paulson described the currency "a proxy for reform" and said the value of the yuan itself is not going to solve all of the remaining problems in U.S.-Sino trade relations. However, he said a market-driven currency is an essential part of China being a true team player in the global economy.
"They're going to continue to hear about it until they get a market-driven currency," Paulson said.
@chanel and @pharrell dropped what’s being dubbed as the world’s most exclusive sneakers yesterday. The Adidas Originals NMD Hu, which Williams designed in collaboration with Chanel and @adidasoriginals, has a waiting list of over 120K people who pre-registered online at chanelatcolette.fr –– and only 500 pairs are on sale. The singer predicted the resale value of the shoes could reach $40K. Read the full interview on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdfashion (📷: Dominique Maître)
@imanshumpert is diving deeper into his creative endeavors and relaunching his clothing line, Post 90s, and is helping to raise money for the hurricane victims in St. Maarten with a jersey he’s designed with his brother. The Cleveland Cavaliers player talked to WWD about kneeling during the national anthem, working with fashion brands and how he wants to be more than an @nba player. Read the interview on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: George Chinese)
Not only does #TheProfit return to CNBC tonight, but @marcuslemonis has launched @shopmarcus, a new shopping and lifestyle retail experience in Aspen and Chicago, with more locations to come. The retail stores offer in-store stylists and a variety of contemporary womenswear selections.
“It’s life, I’m going to face it,” @mingxi11 sighed. “I fell, but you know, I think the most important thing is that I get back up. I had the love, the help from my sister — the girl next to me Gizele [Oliveira] — she’s so nice. When I went backstage everybody was trying to comfort me like ‘Oh Ming, it’s OK.’ I’m really, really touched. I think it’s them who gave me the courage to go back on stage for the finale,” Xi told WWD of her fall at the @victoriassecret fashion show. (📷: David Fisher) #wwdfashion #vsfashionshow #victoriassecret
@louisvuitton tapped @therealpeterlindbergh for its latest city-centric photo book, which is part of a series called Fashion Eye. The primarily black and white book captures the spirit of Berlin in 57 images shot between 1989 and 2019. “Berlin is an inspiration for me, more than a city. I mean @millajovovich is simply Berlin!” said Lindbergh. #wwdfashion
“You know, I think audiences expect a certain performance so I have to deliver to them what they’re expecting to a certain degree. But I’m also a different actor and a different person, I have my own spin on the character,” says @noahegalvin of his takeover of the leading role in “Dear Evan Hansen” following the departure of @bensplatt, who originated the role. Read WWD’s interview with the 23-year-old actor on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
For pre-fall 2018, @etro created richly-colored wonderland, using tapestries, textiles and wallpapers from the Eastern world at large. The line featured floral and graphic prints and jacquard motifs, like this two-piece look featured here. #wwdfashion (📷: Giovanna Pavesi)
@kith is moving into children’s. The men’s and women’s streetwear brand has launched Kidset, a Kith kids line located in New York at 64 Bleecker Street. The line includes mini versions of staple Kith pieces like the Astor bomber jacket and the Kith box logo sweatshirts, along with a wall that can display up to 120 pairs of shoes from @adidas, @newbalance, @timberland and more. #wwdfashion
“I just wanted to create this fully rounded character, but I do think what excited me most was just the opportunity to give a group of people representation that I feel needs it. I like to do characters in projects that stand for something and Karolina definitely does, so that was really exciting to me,” @ginnygardner says of her new role in @hulu’s “The Runaways.” Gardner plays Karolina Dean, a queer superhero, which is a rarity for @marvel. Read more about Gardner’s character on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @dandoperalski)