Sunday, 24 June, 2018

China lowers tariffs, rejects United States trade war escalation

Commerce Secretary To Press China To Buy As Allies Seethe Over Tariffs China Warns US: No Trade Deal if Tariffs Go Ahead
Kenneth Drake | 06 June, 2018, 01:44

U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross arrived in Beijing on Saturday with an interagency team of U.S. officials for talks on long-term purchases of U.S. farm and energy commodities, just days after Washington renewed its threats to impose tariffs on Chinese goods.

Blame China and those who are breaking trade rules, not Donald Trump, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said as China warned that all commitments so far in talks with the USA over trade will be withdrawn if the president carries out his threat to impose tariffs.

Trade tensions between the U.S. and China, the world's two largest economies, had intensified in April after Beijing said it was slapping duties on 106 American imports following Washington's plans to put new tariff on hundreds of Chinese items.

While the U.S. -China trade and tariff disputes remain unresolved, Trump last week imposed new tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from the European Union, Canada and Mexico, angering three key U.S. allies who vowed to retaliate by imposing new duties on American goods.

China has floated a massive purchase of United States goods, according to a new report, in an effort to curb burgeoning trade tensions with President Donald Trump's administration.

The United States is the world's top cotton exporter and China's top overseas supplier.

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.

Requested particularly on Fox's "Sunday Morning Futures" if the U.S.is prepared to throw away its relationship with China by continuing with threatened tariff hikes, Peter Navarro, director of the White Home Nationwide Commerce Council, pointed partially to an unfair relationship involving a multi-billion greenback commerce deficit, Protection Secretary Jim Mattis' warning of China's actions within the South China Sea and the specter of China stealing USA mental property.

That truce appeared to end with Tuesday's surprise announcement. "However, a major challenge for China will be to reduce the bilateral trade deficit by $200 billion per year over the medium term as requested by Washington, since that will be a mammoth task".

The tone of the statement suggested that China's concessions at last month's talks in Washington were not enough for the Trump administration, says BBC Asia Business correspondent Karishma Vaswani.

Tensions temporarily eased May 19 after China promised to "significantly increase" its purchases of USA farm, energy and other products.


"It has been a great pleasure to spend yesterday with you and we are especially grateful for last night's dinner", Ross said as he met with Liu at the Diaoyutai state guesthouse.

Instead, China issued its own statement that both praised the negotiations for making "concrete progress" while threatening to abandon the earlier promises of increasing imports from the U.S.in retaliation for tariffs.

"All economic and trade outcomes of the talks will not take effect if the US imposes any trade sanctions including raising tariffs".

The looming tariff hikes have also raised hackles among USA trade partners in Canada, Mexico and the European Union, stoking fears that a full-scale trade war could erupt within days.

Also similar to the North Korean discussions, it is not clear what the Trump administration exactly wants in a revised trade framework with China.

Last month, Trump had threatened punitive measures against Chinese goods if China doesn't cut down the trade deficit by Dollars 100 billion in a month and USD 200 billion by 2020.

Bruno Le Maire, France's finance and financial system minister, additionally known as the USA tariffs unjustified.

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

"We remorse that our frequent work collectively on the degree of the G7 has been put in danger by the selections taken by the American administration on commerce and on tariffs", he stated.

In a speech at the annual Shangri-La Dialogue security forum in Singapore, Ng said the world's two biggest economies were similarly using security considerations to justify their behavior - the US on trade and China for its military buildup in the disputed South China Sea.

As part of the new purchases, China would import larger amounts of U.S. soybeans, corn, natural gas, crude oil, coal, and more, according to the Journal.

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