China warns United States against imposing trade sanctions as talks end

04 June, 2018, 03:00 | Author: Roderick Gutierrez
  • Commerce Secretary To Press China To Buy As Allies Seethe Over Tariffs

A United States delegation led by Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross held talks with Chinese negotiators in Beijing on Saturday and Sunday.

An apparent truce was reached in Washington last month when Mr Liu said the two sides would discuss ways to enhance trade instead of slapping escalating tariffs on each other.

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.

"All economic and trade outcomes of the talks will not take effect if the USA side imposes any trade sanctions including raising tariffs", the statement said.

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.

Trump has threatened to raise tariffs on a total of up to $150 billion of Chinese goods.

It says the two sides have made concrete progress on many areas but the details are left for final approval.

China has warned that agreements to buy more American goods will be void if Washington goes ahead with sanctions and other punitive trade actions.

"We regret that our common work together at the level of the G7 has been put at risk by the decisions taken by the American administration on trade and on tariffs", he said.

Hua referred questions about the status of the talks to the Commerce Ministry, which did not immediately respond to requests for information.

In addition to tariffs, Ross is also under pressure from US lawmakers to stay tough on Chinese telecom-equipment maker ZTE Corp.


"The idea that we are somehow a national security threat to the United States is quite frankly insulting and unacceptable", he said.

"I want to be clear, this isn't just about [China] buying more goods, this is about structural changes", Mnuchin said.

"Our meetings so far have been friendly and frank, and covered some useful topics about specific export items", Ross said, in brief comments before reporters. "Our set pace will not change", it said.

China has promised to "significantly increase" purchases of farm goods, energy and other products and services.

Addressing Liu earlier in the day at the start of their formal talks at a government guest house, Ross praised the tone of their interactions.

Mr Ross was accompanied by agriculture, treasury and trade officials for the meeting at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse, a leafy compound on Beijing's west side. China balked at making concessions unless the USA lifted the tariff threat.

Ross, who was preceded in Beijing last week by more than 50 USA officials, had been expected during the two-day visit to try to secure long-term purchases of US farm and energy commodities to help shrink the USA trade deficit.

There was also anger at the G7 meeting of finance ministers after last weekend's decision by the United States to impose 25% steel tariffs and 10% aluminum duty on the EU, Canada and Mexico.

He Weiwen, deputy director of the Centre for China and Globalisation and a former Commerce Ministry official in NY, said Beijing was prepared to take measures to narrow the trade gap but it was also prepared for a trade war.

The U.S. team had also wanted to secure greater intellectual property protection and an end to Chinese subsidies that have contributed to overproduction of steel and aluminum.

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