Yellen visiting China to combat climate change, protect interests of American workers

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Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen is scheduled to visit China this week to advance the interests of U.S. workers, U.S. national security and attempt to cut down on climate change.

Yellen will travel to Gwangju, China, from Thursday to Saturday before heading to Beijing for meetings and engagements from April 7 to April 9, according to a senior treasury official. During her visit to China, Yellen will meet with senior Chinese government officials, leading U.S. firms doing business in China and will engage directly with the people of China.

The official said Yellen’s trip seeks to advance a healthy economic relationship that provides a “level playing field” for U.S. workers and firms, use “targeted action” to advance the national security interests of the U.S. and its allies, and to protect human rights and to work on global priorities including climate change, financial stability and sovereign debt.

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The visit attempts to build on President Biden’s meeting with Chinese President Xi in Bali during November 2022. Yellen also visited China in July of last year.

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According to the official, the U.S. has had the fastest economic recovery in recent memory, with strong growth and a strong labor market.

“Our economic strength is being bolstered by President Biden’s historic investment agenda at home and infrastructure, semiconductors and advanced manufacturing,” the official said. “Because of the work by the president, Secretary Yellen, and the administration, the U.S.-China economic relationship is unquestionably now on firmer footing than it was two years ago.”

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The U.S. and China remain divided on several areas, the official said, including Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and consequences for any foreign firm or financial institution that violates U.S. sanctions. The official said Yellen is expected to bring up these issues during her visit to China.

While in China, Yellen is expected to focus on advocating for U.S. workers and businesses to ensure they are treated fairly by pressing her Chinese counterpart on “unfair trade practices and concerning macroeconomic policies,” the official said.

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Yellen will also seek to expand cooperation with China to tackle illicit finance, which the official said is crucial in addressing fraud, drug trafficking and global crime syndicates.

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Additionally, the secretary hopes to deepen work on priorities that benefit the U.S. and China, as well as the world as a whole, which includes bolstering financial stability to protect our economies from potential risks, the official said.

“We also hope to build on our work together to address climate change, which poses a clear threat to both our countries and all of humanity,” the official said. “And we will continue to work with China to move more quickly to help resolve that distress among developing countries, which will bolster the global economy.”

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