China threatens to abandon trade deal if United States imposes tariffs

04 June, 2018, 09:32 | Author: Bert Pena
  • Commerce Secretary To Press China To Buy As Allies Seethe Over Tariffs

China made the statement after talks with a us delegation led by Commerce Secretary in Beijing on Saturday and Sunday. The purchases are meant to reduce America's massive trade deficit in goods and services with China, which previous year came to $337 billion, according to the U.S. Commerce Department.

"If the USA side imposes trade restrictions, including high tariffs, then all trade agreements reached as result of talks will have no binding force", the statement read.

Beijing said the 2 sides had made "positive and concrete progress" on matters like increasing agricultural and energy imports but said details were left for "both sides to finalize". 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.

But state news agency Xinhua carried a statement which warned against a trade war and said the two sides should meet each other half way. "Our established rhythm will not change", it added.

But a short time later China issued a statement through the Xinhua news agency, saying, "If the United States introduces trade sanctions including a tariff increase, all the economic and trade achievements negotiated by the two parties will not take effect". China has also threatened to hit back with tit-for-tat tariffs on tens of billions of dollars in USA goods.

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

"The White House's tariff announcement on May 29 was just part of the negotiations for Wilbur Ross' visit to Beijing as they try to clinch deals that favour the USA", he said.

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"Our meetings so far have been friendly and frank, and covered some useful topics about specific export items", Ross told the Chinese trade team led by Liu, President Xi Jinping's right hand-man on economic issues, on Sunday morning.

USA tensions with China had eased after Beijing promised on May 19 to "significantly increase" purchases of farm goods, energy and other products and services following the last round of talks in Washington.

US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the dispute was "on hold" and the tariff hike would be postponed. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who announced the tariff truce with China, said at the G7 summit in Canada that the USA was pushing for "structural changes" to the Chinese economy.

Other officials and technical experts from the Department of Commerce, Department of Treasury, United States Trade Representative, Department of Agriculture, and Department of Energy also took part, the White House said.

The warning came after the latest round of trade talks ended inconclusively in Beijing.

It comes at the end of a week in which the E.U., Canada and Mexico also threatened retaliation if they were faced with trade tariffs by the U.S. Liu's delegation included China's central bank governor and commerce minister.

The US pressure over technology policy reflects growing American concern about China's status as a potential competitor and complaints Beijing improperly subsidises its fledgling industries and shields them from competition.

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