12 March, 2018
Trump has called the tariffs a matter of national security while threatening to tax European auto imports and impose "reciprocal taxes" on countries that charge higher duties on USA goods than the United States now charges on their products. Increased tariffs triggered an enormous controversy in the global community, the European Union and Japan demanded exceptions for themselves.
"There will be no winners in the trade war, it will cause disaster for China, USA and the whole world", the Minister said.
"The European Union, wonderful countries who treat the U.S. very badly on trade, are complaining about the tariffs on Steel & Aluminum", he wrote on Twitter.
Zhong said that cooperation is the only choice for the 2 countries.
It is "important" to resolve the bilateral trade dispute through dialogue and to deepen economic cooperation between China and the United States, Zhong said.
"China doesn't want to fight a trade war, nor would we take initiatives to ignite a trade war", he said.
The US trade shortfall in goods with China surged 8.1 percent during the first year of Trump's presidency, reaching a record $375 billion, according to Commerce Department data released last month. More than 60 countries have registered so far. Of those imports, South Korea, Japan, China and India accounted for 6.6 million tonnes. He accused China of manipulating its currency to make its exports more competitive on the global market.
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The dispute has fueled concerns that soybeans, the United States' most valuable export to the world's second-largest economy, might be caught up in the trade actions after Beijing launched a probe into imports of U.S. sorghum, a grain used in animal feed and liquor.
Zhong blamed the trade imbalance in part on controls over US high-tech exports to China, repeating a Chinese claim that Washington could narrow its trade deficit if it allowed Beijing to buy more "dual use" technology such as supercomputers and advanced materials with military applications.
He also reiterated a previous pledge that China would lower import tariffs on consumer goods including automobiles, as part of an effort to boost domestic consumption.
Zhong also said he plans to meet with Japanese Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Hiroshige Seko to discuss trade and investment issues.
Nonetheless, there is growing bipartisan consensus in Washington, and support within some segments of the United States business community, for the U.S. government to counter what are seen as Beijing's predatory industrial policies and market restrictions on foreign firms.
Zhong said that Beijing would continue to "relax market access" to China, and that it would also attach greater importance to intellectual property rights, another point of tension with the U.S.