Published: Mon, June 04, 2018
Global Media | By Derrick Guzman

China warns US against tariffs as trade talks end

China warns US against tariffs as trade talks end

The talks were led by US Commerce secretary Wilbur Ross and Chinese Vice-Premier Liu He in Beijing. The US has a massive trade deficit with China.

No formal trade deals came out of that meeting, but China agreed last month to "significantly increase purchases of United States goods and services", according to a White House statement.

"To implement the consensus reached in Washington, the two sides have had good communication in various areas such as agriculture and energy, and have made positive and concrete progress while relevant details are yet to be confirmed by both sides", the statement said. "China's attitude on a trade war remains the same and will always be consistent".

"The achievements reached by China and the United States should be based on the premise that the two sides should meet each other halfway and not fight a trade war", it added. The U.S. says China's outsized production artificially depresses global metals prices, endangering U.S. national security by undermining its domestic steel industry.

China also said it won't be pushed into making major changes to its economic policies.


"Trump's strategy does no favors for the moderates like trade negotiator Liu He who are eager to take China down a more manageable path of market and financial reforms, and such reforms would indeed be good for USA commercial interests", said James Zimmerman, a partner in the Beijing office of the law firm Perkins Coie and a former chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce in China.

Mr Ross's China visit comes days after Washington threatened to impose extra tariffs on $50bn of Chinese goods.

He said Washington would use its move on Tuesday to slap punitive tariffs on Chinese imports as a bargaining chip.

There was also anger at the G7 meeting of finance ministers after last weekend's decision by the USA to impose 25% steel tariffs and 10% aluminum duty on the EU, Canada and Mexico.

There was no immediate response from the USA delegation or from Ross himself.


"Our meetings so far have been friendly and frank, and covered some useful topics about specific export items", Ross said, in brief comments to reporters.

Wilbur Ross sounded upbeat on Sunday after having dinner the previous evening with China's Vice-Premier Liu He. But Chinese envoys promised after the last high-level meeting in Washington in mid-May to buy more American farm goods and energy products. Still, Beijing resisted pressure to commit to a specific target of narrowing its annual surplus with the United States by US$200 billion. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said then that the USA tariffs were suspended and the trade war "on hold".

After a three-day meeting of finance ministers from the G7 industrial nations that ended Saturday in Canada, Canadian Finance Minister Bill Morneau issued a summary saying the other six members want Trump to hear their message of "concern and disappointment" over the us trade actions. He also pushed back against the argument that Canadian steel poses a US security threat.

"We regret that our common work together at the level of the G7 has been put at risk by the decisions taken by the American administration on trade and on tariffs", he said.


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