A senior U.S. official said that the United States has suggested to China that the two countries launch a bilateral dialogue on the steel sector to head off potential trade disputes. According to Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade, Franklin Lavin, he has put forward the idea of creating a mechanism for discussing steel, similar to those in place for energy and telecommunications.
Lavin said at a news briefing, “We’ve had a number of steel issues that have come up, formal trade disputes, and wouldn’t we be better if we looked at these issues in a broader economic context and not simply wait till we got a trade dispute? So let’s look at issues such as tax and subsidy and capacity and try to have some kind of discussion on these issues.”
A dialogue could take place through the Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade, a bilateral consultative mechanism, said Lavin. He did not say how the officials have responded. Other industries the U.S. would like to see reductions include telecoms, film and pharmaceuticals. Lavin also said that increasing exports to China was the most constructive way of addressing the gaping U.S. trade deficit with the country, which is expected to reach $200 billion this year.