US Secretary of Commerce (pictured during a meeting with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang last year) is scheduled to arrive in Beijing on Saturday to continue trade negotiations. Photo: Reuters/Thomas Peter

Speaking in Hong Kong Wednesday, after high-level meetings with Chinese leaders in Beijing this week, US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said he was optimistic about the US China trade relationship ahead of President Trump’s upcoming visit.

“We are looking forward to a very good session including a lot of American CEOs and we hope there will be some very good deliverables,” Ross told reporters on Monday.

But as the Financial Times reported Wednesday, overarching structural problems in the trade relationship will not be solved by one-off deals.

“Overcapacity is a big problem already and given the 2025 plan and the subsidies that it contemplates for a number of new industries, one of the worries that one has to have is that that may result in future overcapacity,” he was quoted by the FT as saying.

“For example in robotics, there apparently are something like 400 robotics companies in China right now and people in the industry tell me their estimate is that maybe 360 of those are in it to get the subsidies and tax breaks and are not really that serious about products.”

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