U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo speaks during a Reuters interview on the Department of Commerce in Washington, September 23, 2021.
Kevin Lamarque | Reuters
U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo is about to meet with senior Chinese officials and U.S. business leaders in Beijing because the two countries proceed high-level talks.
Her trip is a vital but in addition a troublesome one to tread with U.S.-China economic ties hanging within the balance, in response to a former senior U.S. diplomat.
“Gina Raimondo’s trip goes to be a tough one, because she goes to must check with the Chinese about their concerns concerning the U.S. attempting to contain the Chinese economy and throttle their development,” Susan Thornton told CNBC’s “Squawk Box Asia.”
Thornton previously served as acting assistant secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs on the State Department. She said Raimondo would wish to “get some business done for U.S. businesses,” on top of promoting and stabilizing trade relations with China.
“So it’s a troublesome visit. But I believe it’s one which the Chinese are welcoming and need to see some positive statements come out of,” said Thornton, who’s now a senior fellow on the Paul Tsai China Center at Yale Law School.
Raimondo arrived in Beijing on Sunday night, starting a visit which got here on the invitation of her counterpart, Chinese Minister of Commerce Wang Wentao.
In a gap statement, Wang said China is able to work together to “foster a more favorable policy environment” for U.S. and Chinese businesses.
Items on Raimondo’s agenda likely include improving tourism, export controls and cross-border data flows, Thornton said.
Based on the U.S. Travel Association, China was the most important source of overseas travelers to the U.S. in 2019 and outbound travel this yr from China to the U.S. has only recovered to 30% of the degrees seen in 2019.
When asked whether tariffs imposed by former President Donald Trump may very well be reversed, Thornton said: “I do not think that that is going to be happening in consequence of this trip.”
The Chinese economy is in “way more difficulty” than what people this time last yr estimated, she said.
“I believe the U.S. at the identical time also sees dangers from the faltering Chinese economy, which could have global repercussions but actually also for the U.S. economy,”
China recently reported second-quarter gross domestic product below expectations, in addition to record high youth unemployment before suspending the breakdown of the general figures.
“It’s in our interest as well to attempt to stabilize the trading relationship between the 2 biggest economic powers on this planet,” said Thornton.
—CNBC’s Evelyn Cheng contributed to this report.