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Remarks by Consul General ZHANG Ping at the Road Show For China International Import Expo

Remarks by Consul General ZHANG Ping at the Road Show

For China International Import Expo

(March 23, 2018, LA Chamber of Commerce)


Distinguished Guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen,


Good Morning!  It gives me great pleasure to join Deputy Director General Xiadiya and her delegation from the Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) and the Bureau of Import Expo in this road show featuring the first China International Import Expo (CIIE). First of all, I wish to extend warm welcome to the Deputy Director General and her delegation. I also would like to express my sincere thanks to the distinguished guests present here for your interest and participation in this event and to our partner organizations of the LA Area Chamber of Commerce, the Los Angeles Regional Export Council, the California Governor's Office of Business & Economic Development, the Los Angeles World Trade Center, Riverside County Office of Foreign Trade and Ventura County Economic Development Collaborative for co-sponsoring this event.

The International Import Expo, which will be held in Shanghai this November, is a major initiative taken by the Chinese Government to support trade liberalization and economic globalization. It represents China's sincere desire to open its market to the world, promote a more balanced development of China's external trade and shows China's commitment in undertaking the responsibility of pushing forward global economic growth. The Expo will not only provide new opportunities for countries around the world including the U.S. to expand their export of both goods and services to China, but also create a platform for countries to share business opportunities with each other.

California is the gateway to the Asia-Pacific. It has important economic and trade relationship with China. China now is California's biggest trading partner, the largest source of import and the third largest export market. Last year, the bilateral trade volume between China and California reached 175.6 billion USD, a 10.9% increase over the previous year. The greater Los Angeles area takes a big part of it. In 2016, the trade volume between China and LA reached 159 billion US dollars. Nearly one third of the trade between China and the US goes through the Los Angeles customs district. Apart from trade, China also has substantive investment in Southern California with total amount of investment surpassing 10 billion U.S. dollars. Last year, Chinese tourist arrivals in Los Angeles reached 1.1 million, which brought about 1.2 billion U.S. dollars of revenue to the local economy.

China has a population of 1.3 billion and a growing middle class of the size of US population. With the rise of living standard and increase of household income, the demand for quality import is enormous. In the next five years, China is expected to import 10 trillion US dollars of goods and services. This will provide great opportunities for the U.S. companies including those from California, to increase export of its products and services to the Chinese market. We hope Southern California companies would seize the opportunity and take an active part in the Expo.

Ladies and gentlemen,

China–US economic and trade relationship is mutually beneficial in nature. The bilateral trade and two way investment has not only helped China's development, but also brought tangible benefits to the American people. The inexpensive quality products from China help the American families to bring down the living costs. The provision of various materials and assembly parts forms the whole supply chain for US manufacturing, making US-made products more affordable and competitive. The jobs created by Chinese investment promote the wellbeing of the local communities. And the increase of US export to China helps the growth of the US economy. Over the past 10 years, the average growth of US export to China was twice the growth rate of its import from China. Last year, US export to China increased by 17.3%. In 2015, US export to China and US-China two-way investment supported 2.6 million jobs in US. According to US-China Business Council, since China joined the WTO, US export to China has increased by 500%, much higher than the 90% increase of US global export. While the U.S. has a trade deficit in goods with China, it has a growing trade surplus in services with China, which amounted to 56 billion dollars in 2016.

China pays great attention to the trade imbalance between China and the U.S. and has made great efforts to address this issue. We have demonstrated utmost sincerity by engaging in dialogue and consultation with the US side, making reasonable suggestions, and expanding win-win cooperation. It is regrettable that in disregard of the consensus reached by the two sides of managing differences through constructive consultations and various rational voices asking for cautious decisions, the US administration persisted in conducting Section 301 investigation and announced the relevant trade measures against China's products and investment. This is a typical unilateral trade protectionist action. China is strongly disappointed and firmly opposes it.

The imposition of unilateral punitive tariffs on Chinese imports will not help to solve the issue of trade imbalance. On the contrary, it will worsen our economic and trade relations and lead us to a trade war. China does not want a trade war with anyone. If someone wants to impose a trade war on us, we are not afraid of it, nor will we recoil from it. We are confident and capable of facing any challenges. We will fight to the end to defend our own legitimate interests with all necessary measures.

The actions undertaken by the US side serve nobody's interests. They will directly hurt the US consumers, companies and financial markets, and will also jeopardize international trade order and world economic stability. It started with the intention to hurt others but will eventually end up hurting itself.

We urge the US side to cease and desist so as to avoid placing China-US trade relations in danger.

China-US relationship is one of the most important bilateral relationships the world. To maintain a stable and healthy China-US relationship is in the interest of our both countries and peoples as well as the world at large. We hope concerted efforts will be made by the people of different walks of life who care about this relationship to ensure China-US economic and trade relations stay on the right track. I look forward to working with you for the common objective of building and developing a stable and healthy China-US relationship.

Thank you.

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