Watched by Trump and China’s President Xi Jinping at a signing ceremony in Beijing, US planemaker Boeing Co, General Electric Co and chip giant Qualcomm Inc sealed multi-billion dollar deals.
Among these deals is a 20-year $83.7 billion investment by China Energy Investment Corp in shale gas developments and chemical manufacturing projects in West Virginia, a major US energy producing state. It marks the first major overseas investment for the newly founded China Energy, which formed from the merger of China Shenhua Group, the country’s largest coal producer and China Guodian Corp, one of China’s top five utilities.
Qualcomm signed agreements worth $12 billion with Xiaomi, OPPO and Vivo, three Chinese smartphone makers that the firm said it had “longstanding relationships” with. Qualcomm already earns more than half of its revenues in China.
Boeing announced a deal with state-run China Aviation Suppliers Holding Co to sell 300 Boeing jets with a valuation of $37 billion at list prices, though analysts said it was unclear how many of these were new orders.
However, as is often the case during state visits, many of the deals were packaged as “non-binding” agreements, gave scant details or rolled over existing tie-ups, helping pump up the headline figure.
The Chinese foreign ministry said China will further lower entry barriers in the banking, insurance, and finance sectors, and gradually reduce vehicle tariffs, while Trump has blamed his own predecessors for the “huge” trade deficit between the world’s two largest economies.
“Trade between China and the United States has not been, over the last many, many years, a very fair one for us,” Trump told an audience of business leaders and journalists, describing the relationship as “shockingly” unbalanced and costing the US $300 billion a year.
“Right now, unfortunately, it is a very one-sided and unfair [relationship]. But – but – I don’t blame China. After all, who can blame a country for taking advantage of another country for the benefit of its own citizens? I give China great credit.
“But in actuality I do blame past [US] administrations for allowing this out of control trade deficit to take place and to grow. We have to fix this because it just doesn’t work … it is just not sustainable.”
Trump also urged Xi Jinping to “act faster and more effectively” to extinguish North Korea’s nuclear “menace”. He said China could fix the problem of North Korea’s nuclear programme “easily and quickly”.
Xi said both sides would “continue to work towards” fully implementing UN sanctions and “enduring peace” on the Korean peninsula.