China: Tariffs by USA would wipe out trade progress

Commerce Secretary To Press China To Buy As Allies Seethe Over Tariffs
U.S. Hints at China Talks Progress as Trump Riles Trade Allies

03 June, 2018

"If the United States introduces trade sanctions including tariff increases, all economic and trade achievements negotiated by the two parties so far will be void", said a Chinese government statement issued by the official Xinhua news agency.

China has warned that the United States that the outcome of trade talks will be void if Washington imposes trade sanctions including tariffs on Chinese goods, state media reported Sunday quoting a government statement issued at the end of two-day high-level talks between Chinese and USA trade officials.

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

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

USA commerce secretary Wilbur Ross, left, with Chinese vice premier Liu He after their meeting at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing, China on Sunday.

Earlier, Mnuchin had pointed to a rocky road ahead for the U.S., which is now embroiled in trade disputes on two fronts, after talking about Washington's China policy. On Sunday, he is expected to meet Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, Beijing's lead negotiator in the trade dispute.

During his stay, Ross has been looking to build on a vague joint statement released May 19, after the last negotiations in Washington.

Trump officials are considering levies on $50 billion worth of Chinese imports, as well as new restrictions on Chinese investment in the US and tighter export controls.

"Our meetings so far have been friendly and frank, and covered some useful topics about specific export items", Mr Ross said at the opening of Sunday's meeting.

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The third round of trade talks between the world's two largest economies appeared to fall short of bridging the gap between Beijing and Washington, which are at loggerheads over Chinese trade and industrial policy practices that US President Donald Trump says kill American jobs. It said the White House also would impose curbs on Chinese investment and purchases of United States high-tech goods and on visas for Chinese students.

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

Ross was accompanied by agricultural, treasury and trade officials.

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

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

Following Beijing's announcement, US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the dispute was "on hold". "The U.S. has been ripped off by other countries for years on Trade, time to get smart!"

"There are structural changes that allow our companies to compete fairly".

The visit comes as fears of an all-out global trade war intensified after the European Union, Canada and Mexico drew up retaliatory measures to Washington's stinging steel and aluminium tariffs that came into effect on Friday.

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