The United States and the People’s Republic of China held the third meeting of the Economic Working Group (EWG) on February 5-6. This was the first meeting of the EWG in 2024 and its first meeting in China.
Senior officials from the U.S. Department of the Treasury and China’s Ministry of Finance convened for the two-day EWG meetings in Beijing, with participation by other agencies. The two sides opened discussions with an exchange of views on domestic macroeconomic outlooks. The meeting sessions included discussions on cooperating on shared challenges such as debt issues in low-income and emerging economies. U.S. officials also frankly raised issues of concern, including China’s industrial policy practices and overcapacity, and the resulting impact on U.S. workers and firms. U.S. officials reaffirmed that the U.S. is not seeking to decouple the two economies and instead seek a healthy economic relationship that provides a level playing field for American companies and workers. The meetings concluded with both sides agreeing to meet again in April.
While in Beijing, the Treasury delegation also met with Vice Premier He Lifeng, where they conveyed that Secretary Janet L. Yellen welcomed the progress made by the EWG and discussed the importance of continuing to deepen communication and work together on shared challenges. They also indicated that the Secretary looks forward to a return visit to China this year at the appropriate time.
The Economic and Financial Working Groups were established in September 2023. Both working groups report directly to Secretary Yellen and Vice Premier He.