Published: Mon, June 04, 2018
Worldwide | By Victor Meyer

China warns US against tariffs as trade talks end

China warns US against tariffs as trade talks end

The Trump Administration said Tuesday that the U.S. would follow through with tariffs on billions of dollars of Chinese imports, defying a trade truce reached last month in Washington.

Trade tensions between the United States and China, the world's two largest economies, had intensified in April after Beijing said it was slapping duties on 106 American imports following Washington's plans to put new tariff on hundreds of Chinese items. "Our established rhythm will not change", said Xinhua, China's official news agency.

The two governments released no schedule for the talks, but China said earlier Ross was due to be in Beijing through to Monday.

Mr Ross was accompanied by agriculture, treasury and trade officials for the meeting at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse, a leafy compound on Beijing's west side.

He spoke to reporters with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, the top economic adviser to President Xi Jinping.

"The outcome of the talks should be based on the prerequisite that the two parties meet each other halfway and will not engage in a trade war", official news agency, Xinhua reported quoting from the statement. "But it is also well prepared".

"Tariffs and expanding exports - the United States can't have both", the paper 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 U.S.", he said.

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"Both sides appear to have hardened their negotiating stances and are waiting for the other side to blink", said Eswar Prasad, professor of trade policy at Cornell University.

Tensions eased after China 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.

As the trade dispute threatened to blow up into a full scale "war", US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin came under fire from the European Union at the Group of Seven, or G7, meeting of finance leaders in the Canadian ski resort of Whistler. "China-US trade negotiations have to dig up the two sides' greatest number of common interests, and can not be tilted toward unilateral US interests".

On Saturday President Trump insisted on Twitter that the United States had been "ripped off by other countries for years on trade".

The US says it has United States dollars 375 billion trade deficit in USD 636 billion total trade previous year. China has also threatened to hit back with tit-for-tat tariffs on tens of billions of dollars in USA goods. It criticised Trump's move this week and said it reserved the right to retaliate but avoided repeating its earlier threat.

"If the U.S. 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.

That might alienate allies who share complaints about Chinese technology policy and a flood of low-cost steel, aluminium and other exports they say are the result of improper subsidies and hurt foreign competitors.

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