The two countries met to review bilateral economic affairs and plan future agendas.

US commerce secretary Wilbur Ross and treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin received Chinese vice premier Wang Yang in Washington, DC, where they and other high-ranking authorities held a new high-level dialogue. The aim of the meeting was to review the status of trade and economic issues that are of interest to both countries and to consider the progress that has been achieved in recent months.

One issue that was examined in detail was the end of China’s restrictions on US beef imports (following a 14-year ban), a matter that had been pushed for during the meeting between presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping in April 2017. Those present also discussed trade in steel and aluminum, poultry, and services, among other issues.

Authorities ended the meeting by agreeing to strengthen cooperation between the two countries on issues such as macroeconomics, finances, trade, and investments; promote measures to facilitate trade in goods; reinforce communication and the coordination of macroeconomic policies; and strengthen the development of financial markets.

While this was the first time a “comprehensive dialogue” had been held, the two sides have previously held high-level dialogues in similar configurations under earlier US administrations, such as the Strategic and Economic Dialogue established in 2009. This mechanism entailed annual meetings and a similar objective. Secretary Mnuchin explained that the difference this time was the range of topics covered.