Published: Thu, May 17, 2018
Global Media | By Derrick Guzman

China spots problems with U.S. cars, pork as trade talks loom

China spots problems with U.S. cars, pork as trade talks loom

Instead, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer will lead the American delegation in talks with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, the top economic adviser to President Xi Jinping.

Trump's backpedaling on Wednesday followed days of criticism from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.

A group of 33 Democratic senators signed a letter urging Trump to instead focus on strategies to change China's trade practices, such as eliminating market-distorting subsidies and forced technology transfers.

In particular, lawmakers are anxious about the ZTE sanctions - which resulted from a national-security investigation - being used as a bargaining chip in a trade deal. Marco Rubio, R-Florida, tweeted Tuesday. Before the sanctions were placed on ZTE, intelligence officials warned that the phones could be used to spy on American citizens, prompting counterespionage efforts against China. "In return China removes tariffs on USA farmers who did no wrong".

Derek Scissors, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, said that reversing the sanctions as part of a trade deal would break norms of trade talks and undermine the USA position to demand reforms from the Chinese government. "His own top counterintelligence official said ZTE threatens USA national security".


"Worrying about job losses in China is very odd, but it's not actually important", Scissors wrote on Monday.

Kudlow told Politico that the United States was not looking for a trade war with China and that it was not clear what action the United States would take toward ZTE.

U.S. companies are estimated to provide 25 percent to 30 percent of components used in ZTE's equipment, which includes smartphones and gear to build telecommunications networks. And they don't just steal national security secrets, they steal commercial secrets.

During an interview on CNN's "New Day" on Wednesday, the IL representative responded to Trump's tweets supporting the Chinese company amid speculation that the president is seeking a closer alliance with China for cooperation on North Korea and other foreign policy issues.

One 2012 congressional report about ZTE and Huawei, another huge Chinese tech company, said the companies "cannot be trusted to be free of foreign state influence and thus pose a security threat to the United States and to our systems".


However, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross has said there was a "wide" gap between the US and China while lawmakers in Washington questioned the offer to prevent ZTE's collapse, citing national security issues.

"Our country has been losing hundreds of billions of dollars a year with China", he said.

He added that, "We have not seen China's demands yet".

Branstad also noted that China had not met pledges to open up its insurance and financial services area, as well as reduce auto tariffs, and that Trump would like to see a "dramatic increase" in food exports to China.


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