US Commerce Secretary’s Delicate Visit to China

US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo is traveling to Beijing and Shanghai this Sunday, August 27 to meet with senior Chinese officials. A four-day visit which is due to end on Wednesday. A trip of great importance while relations between the two countries are still tense due to many subjects, from Taiwan to the China Sea, including of course trade.

During her visit to China, Gina Raimondo will have to be diplomatic, because her mission is somewhat delicate. The US Commerce Secretary must work to strengthen trade relations with Beijing as Washington has imposed a series of restrictions on its exports to China. Restrictions applied by the department headed by Gina Raimond, recalls our correspondent in New York, Loubna Anaki. Gina Raimondo’s mission is therefore to convince Chinese and Americans that it is possible to have commercial relations while applying limits to “protect” the interests of the United States. Accompanied by a delegation of American businessmen, the Secretary of Commerce is due to meet with her Chinese counterpart as well as other senior officials in the country.

Reindustrialization strategy

The American press lends the former governor of Rhode Island, who began her career in finance, ambitions in Washington. What is certain is that her influence is already being felt in the politics of the American administration since Joe Biden recruited her to participate in the reindustrialization of the country. And in order for American industry to be competitive again, Gina Raimondo has set out to dry up Chinese companies’ access to the most advanced technologies: this is why her secretariat has therefore imposed a blacklist of companies and sensitive products for which it was now forbidden to trade with Beijing.

Like the Europeans, the Americans are investing massively to relocate the production of microprocessors, chips that are essential for everything involving computing. Small complication, if China is behind on technologies, it controls the vast majority of the rare earths essential to the manufacture of these microprocessors. Beijing has also banned the export of several of them in retaliation.

Expected progress

Gina Raimondo’s visit is the fourth by a member of the Biden administration in recent months, proof of the importance given by the American president to the relationship with Beijing, which is rather cold due to the multiple subjects of contention. In Washington, some hope that this visit will lead to slightly more concrete progress than during the trips of previous American officials. A few months before a meeting scheduled for November between Xi Jinping and Joe Biden, Gina Raimondo is therefore preparing for a difficult balancing act.

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