WASHINGTON, Sept. 3 (Reuters) – US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo warned China in interviews broadcast on Sunday that American companies are “running out of patience,” saying American companies deserve a “predictable environment and a level playing field.”
The world’s two largest economies used to be each other’s biggest trading partners, but Washington now trades more with neighboring Canada and Mexico, while Beijing trades more with Southeast Asia.
While in China recently, Raimundo said there was something a strong appetite; between American companies to make the relationship work, and that although some of the measures taken by the Chinese government have been positive, the situation on the ground needs to match the rhetoric.
“China is making it more difficult,” Raimundo told CBS’ Face the Nation. “I’ve been very clear with China that we need this — patience is running out among American companies. They need and deserve a predictable environment and a level playing field. And we hope that China will heed that message so that we can have a stable and growing trading relationship.”
Raimondo said US companies face new challenges, including large unjustified fines, corporate raids and changes to anti-espionage law.
“I have been very clear, direct and firm in all my conversations with my Chinese counterparts,” she told CNN. “I didn’t throw any punches. I didn’t throw any punches.” Raimondo also said she told Chinese officials her email had been hacked before her trip to China in late August.
“They said they weren’t aware of it, and suggested it wasn’t intended,” she told CNN. “But I think it was important to put it on the table and let them know and let them know that it’s hard to build trust when you have actions like that.”
China is grappling with a slowdown that has rocked global markets, with the spotlight now firmly focused on ailing property developer Country Garden. (2007. Hong Kong) And the escalating debt crisis in a sector that contributes about a quarter of the economy.
“I think there is no doubt that (the Chinese economy) is slowing down. They certainly face real, big challenges in the real estate sector,” she told Face the Nation.
Raimondo said the Chinese economy did better when it was more transparent and more market-oriented.
“As they’ve closed their doors and become more arbitrary in the way they manage regulations, the economy is facing huge challenges,” she said.
(Reporting by Diane Bartz and Phil Stewart; Reporting by Mohamed for The Arabic Bulletin) Editing by Mary Milliken and Deba Babbington
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