President Donald Trump announced Thursday roughly $250 billion in deals between American businesses and China. On his final day in Beijing, Trump and China’s President Xi Jinping oversaw a ceremony in which corporate giants such as Boeing and Qualcomm signed multibillion-dollar deals.
“This is truly a miracle,” China’s Commerce Minister Zhong Shan said at a news briefing in Beijing.
Trump said Thursday he was looking forward to a change in the U.S.-China relationship.
“Discussing trade … knowing that the United States really has to change its policies because they’ve gotten so far behind on trade with China and frankly with many other countries,” he said.]
“And I have great respect for you with that because you’re representing China. But it’s too bad that past administrations allowed it to get so far out of kilter. But we’ll make it fair and it’ll be tremendous to both of us.”
Trump went out of his way to avoid alienating his host.
“Both the United States and China will have a more prosperous future if we can achieve a level economic playing field. Right now, unfortunately, it is a very one-sided and unfair one. But — but I don’t blame China,” he said.
“After all, who can blame a country for being able to take advantage of another country for the benefit of its citizens? I give China great credit,” he said.
Trump did not cite former President Barack Obama by name, but he had him in mind.
“But, in actuality, I do blame past 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 for our great American companies, and it doesn’t work for our great American workers. It is just not sustainable. I look forward to working toward that goal and to pursuing fair and lasting engagement,” he said.
Trump pointed out that business connections can help create a more peaceful world.
“The contributions of the business community represented here today are vital to our efforts to ensure peace and prosperity for our two nations. Together, we can unlock a future of opportunity, wealth, and dignity far beyond anybody’s wildest dreams,” he said.
China could invest more than $100 billion into two U.S. energy projects, CNN reported.
The China Energy Investment Corp. agreed to a 20-year $83.7 billion investment in shale gas developments and chemical manufacturing projects in West Virginia.
“The massive size of this energy undertaking and level of collaboration between our two countries is unprecedented,” West Virginia Secretary of Commerce H. Wood Thrasher said in a statement, according to Reuters.
China Petroleum & Chemical Corp. and the Alaskan government will work together to develop the state’s liquefied natural gas industry in a $43 billion project that Alaska says will create up to 12,000 jobs.
Qualcomm signed agreements worth $12 billion with Xiaomi, OPPO, and Vivo, three Chinese handset makers.
Boeing will sell 300 Boeing jets to state-run China Aviation Suppliers in $37 billion deal.
Some said the deals offer a place to start a new trade relationship between the two nations.
“Generally, the sense was that this is all a good thing and that’s great,” said Gentry Sayad, a Shanghai-based lawyer who attended the trade delegation event in Beijing. “Now let’s see what really happens and whether or not the agreements signed during this trip can become a basis for a better bilateral trade relationship going forward.”