June 2, 2019 / 3:19 AM / 25 days ago

China vice minister says U.S. overestimates trade deficit

FILE PHOTO: Chinese Vice Commerce Minister and Deputy China International Trade Representative Wang Shouwen leaves a news conference in Beijing, China, April 4, 2018. REUTERS/Thomas Peter

BEIJING (Reuters) - Chinese Vice Commerce Minister Wang Shouwen said on Sunday the United States overestimates the trade deficit between the two countries and China should not be blamed for job losses in the U.S. manufacturing sector.

Wang told a news conference the U.S. goods and services deficit with China is actually closer to $150 billion and not the $410 billion quoted by U.S. officials. China’s processing trade with the United States should not be included in trade deficit calculations, he added.

Wang said China should not be blamed for job losses in the U.S. manufacturing sector. He also said China does not instruct domestic companies to acquire certain projects and technology.

Wang said the commerce ministry is investigating reports of delays in customs checks, adding that the country will make efforts to cut the length of customs checks and reduce costs for importers.

Wang said that it is “unacceptable” if some countries use rare earths from China to create products that limit China’s development, and he said China is willing to meet other countries’ requirements for rare earth consumption.

Reporting by Cate Cadell; Writing by Andrew Galbraith in SHANGHAI; editing by Darren Schuettler

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