China warns U.S. trade deals are off if tariffs go ahead

04 June, 2018, 02:57 | Author: Chad Mckenzie
  • President Trump and Chinese president Xi Jinping during Trump's visit to China last November. The US has threatened

US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said on Sunday trade talks have been "friendly and frank" as the US and China continued with a second day of negotiations in Beijing aimed at deescalating tensions between the two sides.

The discussions in Beijing, led by US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, were meant to ease tensions after Washington said Tuesday it would follow through with tariffs on Chinese imports despite a truce reached between the two sides last month.

"We believe that regarding problems in the China-U.S. trade and economic relations, the two countries should work out a win-win and mutually beneficial resolution through dialogue and discussion with sincerity and in the spirit of equality and mutual respect".

The US says it has United States dollars 375 billion trade deficit in USD 636 billion total trade past year.

Ross arrived in Beijing on Saturday for talks after the Trump administration renewed tariff threats against China, and with key USA allies in a foul mood toward Washington after they were hit with duties on steel and aluminum. Last month, they held talks in Washington and put out a joint statement.

China is attempted to portray itself as defending free trade and global trading rules, although that stance is belied by China's high tariffs, subsidized exports, state-control of business, and onerous restrictions on foreign companies looking to access the Chinese market.

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US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the dispute was "on hold" and the tariff hike would be postponed.

Private sector analysts say that while Beijing is willing to compromise on its trade surplus, it will resist changes that might threaten plans to transform China into a global technology competitor.

"If the United States introduces trade sanctions including tariffs, all the economic and trade achievements negotiated by the two parties will be void".

The two governments released no schedule for the talks, but China said earlier Ross was due to be in Beijing through to Monday.

China has threatened to hit back with tit-for-tat tariffs on tens of billions of dollars in United States goods.

"The attitude of the Chinese side remains consistent", it said. The US has a massive trade deficit with China. "The Chinese side has realised that the U.S. has just delayed its trade actions rather than giving them up - but Beijing didn't expect a change of attitude so quickly".

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Other officials and technical experts from the Department of Commerce, Department of Treasury, United States Trade Representative, Department of Agriculture, and Department of Energy also took part, the White House said.

But Beijing warned all the results were premised on "not fighting a trade war".

Separately, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin was the target of United States allies' ire at the weekend as new USA tariffs of 25 per cent on steel and 10 per cent on aluminium took effect.

"It is very clear that China has no interest in progressing the talks if the U.S. insists on issuing a tariff announcement in mid-June", said ING's economist for Greater China Iris Pang.

At a gathering of G-7 leaders in the Canadian ski town of Whistler on Saturday, finance ministers from six of the world's largest economies asked Mr Mnuchin to convey their "unanimous concern and disappointment" to US President Donald Trump over the latest trade actions, which they said were harmful to the world's economic development.

Trade analysts warned Ross's hand might be weakened by Thursday's tariff hike on imports from potential allies that share Washington's complaints about Chinese technology policy and flood of low-cost exports.

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