Chinese President to Seek Assurances From Obama on Free Trade

China's Hu Jintao is expected to press U.S. President Barack Obama for assurances that the U.S. isn’t pulling out its commitments to free trade when the two leaders meet today in New York, reports Bloomberg.

 

Analysts told Bloomberg that neither countries can afford to let the recent trade spat over auto tire duties overshadow cooperation on other agenda items, including North Korea and climate change.

 

Citing the International Monetary Fund, Bloomberg says that China’s influence is growing as its economy expands, which is set to pass Japan next year as the world’s second-biggest after the U.S.

 

According to Bloomberg, Hu and Obama first met in April at the London G-20 summit, and Obama plans to visit China in November. Speaking to Bloomberg, Kenneth Lieberthal, director of the John L. Thornton China Center at the Brookings Institution in Washington, says that the bilateral agenda has changed since Obama took office.

 

“China has become significantly more important than it was before,” Lieberthal told Bloomberg. “There’s also a lot of new issues that have rapidly moved to be tier-one issues in the relationship, and these for the first time are global.”

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