BEIJING — China will increase imports from the United States in wide-ranging areas including agricultural products, energy and high-tech equipment, the Ministry of Commerce said on May 25.
In a research report on China-US Economic and Trade Relations, the ministry noted growth potential in US exports to China with the country’s total imports expected to reach $8 trillion in the next five years, which will bring more opportunities for US companies.
China would like to increase imports of agricultural products such as soybeans and cotton from the United States and speed up negotiations on terms regarding traceability, inspection and quarantine for US beef to enter China, benefiting 6 million American farmers, according to the report.
Agricultural products are among the leading US exports to China, a sector in which the United States has maintained a trade surplus with China. After Canada, China is the largest export market for US agricultural products, as well as the largest export market for soybeans and the second largest export destination for cotton.
China purchased 83.23 million metric tons of soybeans in 2016, among which imports from the United States accounted for 40.7 percent, while US cotton took up 29.4 percent of China’s total cotton imports.
According to the US Department of Agriculture, China’s annual cotton consumption in 2016/17 will rise and reach 7.62 million tons, while domestic output is estimated at 4.68 million tons.
“These figures show that the US soybean and cotton exports to China have great potential to grow,” the report said.
The report also pledged to increase imports of advanced manufactured goods such as aircraft, integrated circuits and machine tools from the United States.
China is the largest export market for US aircraft and the second largest export market for US integrated circuits. In 2016, approximately 15 percent of integrated circuits and 25 percent of Boeing aircraft in the United States were sold to China.
“China has a large demand for US high-tech products, but such imports from the United States accounts for only 8.2 percent of the country’s total imports in the sector, which is incompatible with the US position as a technology superpower,” the report noted.
Given this, China is willing to have active discussions on imports of more US aircraft, chips, machine tools and other high-tech products, the ministry said.
In addition, the ministry promised efforts to expand US film exports to China and deepen cooperation in tourism, education and cross-border e-commerce.
According to e-commerce giant Alibaba, sales of US brand products on Taobao.com reached 120 billion yuan ($17.5 billion) in 2016, creating about 270,000 jobs for the United States.
Alibaba plans to open 1 million online stores for American small and medium-sized enterprises in the coming five years, which will create 1 million jobs on a conservative estimate of one job per store.