China promises to rein in steel production

China promised Tuesday to rein in steel production flooding global markets and agreed to work with the U.S. in enforcing anti-nuclear sanctions against North Korea, but the two sides announced no progress on simmering disputes in the South China Sea as they ended high level talks.

Envoys from the two sides also failed to agree on what to do about China’s aluminum sector, one of many bloated industries Washington and other trading partners complain are selling products too cheaply overseas, hurting foreign competitors and threatening jobs.

The two-day annual Strategic & Economic Dialogue, a meeting of Cabinet-level foreign affairs, trade and other officials ended with both sides acknowledging an array of significant issues, including human rights. But they repeatedly stressed their desire for friendly, productive relations between the world’s two biggest economies.

“While efforts over the past several days cannot resolve our concerns, they do represent real progress,” said U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew.

For its part, Washington promised to boost its savings rate and investment, especially in infrastructure. The American side also promised to pursue “fiscal sustainability,” a reference to narrowing its yawning budget deficits.

The commitment to persist with reforms to make China’s economy more balanced included specific steps for opening its financial sector wider to U.S. companies, Lew told reporters.

For the first time, China agreed to allow U.S. banks to clear transactions denominated in Chinese currency.

Beijing also concurred there is no reason for a sustained weakening of its currency, the yuan, Lew said. That included a commitment to not engage in “competitive devaluations and not target the exchange rate for competitive purposes,” he said.
Source: China Post