But many industry groups and economists argue that Trump would be better off pushing China to open its markets.

Jacob Parker, vice-president of China operations at the US-China Business Council, said China had already indicated it would move ahead to liberalise financial services, agriculture and insurance. “We strongly encourage both sides to use these discussions to detail a specific implementation timeline for these new openings,” Parker said.

AmCham China chairman William Zarit said previous bilateral trade talks did not yield much, and only more market access for US exports and investments could create a fair trade environment for the US.