Commerce Secretary To Press China To Buy As Allies Seethe Over Tariffs

Commerce Secretary To Press China To Buy As Allies Seethe Over Tariffs

Commerce Secretary To Press China To Buy As Allies Seethe Over Tariffs

China warned the United States that any deals reached during ongoing trade talks would be void if Washington went ahead with imposing tariffs on Chinese goods, as the latest round of negotiations ended on Sunday in Beijing.

"If the USA launches trade sanction measures, including the imposition of tariffs, then all the economic and trade benefits negotiated by both sides are not going to take effect".

Mnuchin had been part of the first trade delegation to Beijing, which sought to pressure China to cut $US200 billion from its USA trade surplus and stop promoting Chinese technology companies if Beiing wanted to avoid a trade war.

The visit by Ross follows renewed tariff threats this week against China by the Trump administration, and as US allies are in a foul mood with Washington after they were hit with duties on steel and aluminum.

The discussions are meant to ease tensions after Washington said it would follow through with tariffs on Chinese imports despite a truce reached between the two sides in the U.S. last month.

After it had appeared a trade truce between the two economic heavyweights was on the cards, the White House this week warned it would continue to pursue tariffs on $50 billion worth of Chinese imports, as well as impose restrictions on Chinese investments in the United States and tighter export controls.

"Tariffs and expanding exports - the United States can't have both", the paper said.

At the talks in Beijing this weekend, "the two sides had good exchanges of views on implementing the consensus reached in Washington, particularly in the areas of agriculture and energy", Xinhua reported.

The two-day talks in Beijing which ended on Sunday followed an earlier round in Washington where officials had met to discuss the situation.

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Trump also has threatened to raise tariffs on an additional $100 billion of Chinese goods, but gave no indication this week whether that would go ahead.

China's attitude towards imports has been consistent: It is willing to increase imports from all countries, including the United States, according to Xinhua. China says the trade deficit is around United States dollars 200 billion.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who announced the tariff truce with China, said at the G7 summit in Canada that the U.S. was pushing for "structural changes" to the Chinese economy.

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

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.

Gai Xinzhe, an analyst at Bank of China's finance institute in Beijing, told Bloomberg that "China is concerned over the U.S.'s unpredictability, especially after Trump turned an about-face on tariffs". China pledged to take steps to "substantially" reduce the US trade deficit, including by buying more American farm goods and energy, though it didn't commit to a dollar amount.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau: "These tariffs are totally unacceptable".

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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