Commerce Secretary Juanita Kreps, just returned after having successfully negotiated a trade pact with the People Republic of China, said yesterday that a readjustment of that nation's modernization goals "will not affect the large-scale import of foreign technology and investment into China."
Specifically, in response to questions after an address to the Washington Press Club, Kreps said that Vice Premier Deng Xiaoping "stressed more then once that he didn't expect this readjustment to affect exports (to China) from the United States."
Kreps said it was difficult to make a quantitative estimate of how much the Chinese were paring back their production goals. But she said that in her judgement, "it is inaccurate to describe what is now going on in China as "retrenchment." The Chinese take pains to point out that no reversal of the tide of modernization has been set in motion."
She acknowledged, as hes been previously reported, that the trade agreement she initialled in Canton would not be formally signed and presented to Congress until China agrees to textile quotas assuring that their export will not disrupt American markets.
The Anticipated textile agreement-a form of Orderly Marketing Agreement-has been under intense study for months. Further talks are scheduled between Special Trade Representative Robert S. Strauss and Chinese Officials in Peking next week.
If Strauss can get a textile agreement, she said, a signed trade agreement might be submitted to Congress between mid-June and the end of the months. Most favored nation (MFN) status for China is granted by the trade agreement subject to a waiver of the Jackson-Vanik act requirements, to be forwarded to Congress by the president.
Kreps said that MFN status for the Soviet Union-long a subject of discussion-is intended to be "on separate but parallel tracks-one is not conditioned on the other." Reportedly, the administration is ready to proceed with MFN status for the Soviet Union because that country has liberalized its emigration restrictions on Jewish citizens. A U.S.-U.S.S.R. trade treaty, never effectuated, is already on the books.
For the first time, Kreps revealed that she had discussed during her talks in China "public" export credits from the U.S. to the P.R.C., but "we didn't try to come to grips with specific amounts."
It was learned that the draft of the initialled trade treaty-text of which has not yet been made public-provides for Chinese eligibility for "public export credits." Specific transactions would be subject to approval of the Export-Import Bank.
But as Treasury Secretary W. Michael Blumenthal Pointed out last week in a speech here to the National Council on U.S.-China Trade, until the Chinese pay off back debts of $26.5 million to the Export-Import back, no new loans are likely to be extended. The debt was not included in the private claims-assets agreement that Blumenthal initialled in March and Kreps concluded last week.
Kreps said she was "proud" of th accomplishments of her mission, but liek Blumenthal, stressed the problems that lie ahead. "Notwithstanding the excitement of the moment," she said, "the growth in U.S.-China trade will be gradual, and perhaps at a slower rate than some of the popular projections. CAPTION: Picture, JUANITA KREPS . . . sees "retrenchment"