BEIJING, April 4 (Xinhua) -- China on Wednesday called on the United States to loosen its grip on exports of high-tech products in a bid to narrow the trade gap between the two countries.
"The United States boasts many advantageous industries but is self-restricted in terms of exports to China. Fewer exports resulted in the big trade deficit," Vice Minister of Commerce Wang Shouwen told a press briefing.
Wang urged joint efforts to achieve more balanced trade. "It is unacceptable to ask China alone to cut the deficit by 100 billion U.S. dollars as the trade gap is determined by market forces and the overall economic policies and structure of the United States."
China hopes the United States can actively respond to China's efforts to expand imports, Wang said, inviting American businesses to attend the first China International Import Expo in November and show their products and services to Chinese consumers.
Customs data showed the country's surplus with the United States stood at 1.87 trillion yuan (about 300 billion U.S. dollars) last year.
Wang said the trade gap is mainly attributed to the United States itself, which has a low savings ratio and a U.S. dollar as the global payment currency.
"Robust consumption leads to a deficit in global trade and the United States sees a trade deficit with not only China but many other countries in the world...and it has to maintain the big deficit to ensure the global position of the U.S. dollar," Wang said.
"We are glad to see U.S. President Donald Trump has eased restrictions on exports of energy products, crude oil and liquefied natural gas to China after taking office, which used to be banned," Wang said, pointing out that such measures will help tackle the trade imbalance.
Wang said the trade gap is not as big as the United States claims. "Taking into account transit trade and service trade, the real gap is only a third of the figure released by the U.S. government." According to U.S. Census Bureau data, the trade deficit with China ran to a record 375 billion dollars last year.
Wang said China and the United States have actually made progress in improving their trade structures.
"The United States reduced its deficit to GDP ratio to 2.3 percent from 4.9 percent in 2007...and China slashed the surplus to GDP ratio to less than 1 percent from 9.9 percent," Wang said.