US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said her visit to China produced “a great deal of progress,” though “there can be no trust” unless Beijing takes action in areas such as more predictable regulations.
Raimondo’s comments in an interview on CBS’s Face the Nation amplify her stance since returning last week from her four-day tour and meetings with senior Chinese officials, part of an effort by President Joe Biden’s administration to ease strains between the world’s two biggest economies.
Washington and Beijing during Raimondo’s visit restored the kind of formal communication channels that have been severed over years of deteriorating ties: a working group focused on commercial issues and an export control enforcement “information exchange.” The two sides also agreed “to have an exchange” around trade secrets, Raimondo said Sunday.
“I think we made a great deal of progress,” she said on CBS. Asked whether she trusts China’s officials after her trip, she said: “Trust is probably not the word I would use. We need to see action. And until we see action, there can be no trust.”
Raimondo, whose job gives her power over export controls as well as promoting US business abroad, also was asked about the administration’s stance on Chinese investment in the US, including in farmland.
“Not every investment from China into America harms our national security, but many do,” she said.
Raimondo’s visit has drawn Republican criticism in Washington as signaling too much of a concession to China.
“She is correct when she says that dialogue is very important and that we should be talking as much as we can,” Senator Mike Rounds, a Republican from South Dakota, said on CNN’s State of the Union on Sunday. “But you also have to think the reality with them that it does not appear that the Chinese Communist government necessarily wants to do more than simply talk. Actions are critical at this stage in the game.