China warns USA against tariffs as trade talks end

Commerce Secretary To Press China To Buy As Allies Seethe Over Tariffs

The talks, held in Beijing and led by Chinese Vice Premier Liu He and US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, made positive and concrete progress, although the relevant details are yet to be ratified by both sides, according to the statement.

Ross, who was preceded by more than 50 USA officials in Beijing, met Chinese Vice Premier Liu He for dinner on Saturday night and the two were due to meet again on Sunday, a US official said. But the truce appeared to end with last week's announcement Washington was going ahead with tariff hikes on technology goods and also would impose curbs on Chinese investment and purchases of USA high-tech exports.

"We hope that China and USA economic and trade cooperation can benefit people in both countries, and we are not willing to see trade frictions escalate", Gao told a regular press briefing.

The U-S has threatened to implement tariffs on 50 billion dollars worth of Chinese imports.

The dispute is in two largely unrelated halves: American frustration with China's overall trade surplus with the United States - a record $375.2 billion past year and forecast to grow - and more narrowly focused complaints about Beijing's technology policy. "As a fine friend and ally of the United States, nobody denies that".

Liu, a Harvard-trained economist who is a trusted confidant of Chinese President Xi Jinping, is China's chief negotiator in the trade dispute. 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.

Since November, China has announced plans to end limits on foreign ownership in its insurance and auto industries and to reduce import tariffs on autos and a range of consumer goods. He blames what he calls their abusive trade policies for America's persistent trade deficits - $566 billion past year.

Then, in a tweet about three weeks ago, Trump said that the Commerce Department should reconsider American sanctions on ZTE, without any obvious Chinese concession in exchange.

China pledged to take steps to "substantially" reduce the US trade deficit, including buying more North American farm goods and energy, though it didn't commit to a dollar amount.

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More tellingly, the statement warned that promises made at previous talks would not be upheld if the Trump administration carried through on its threat of tariffs. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin stated then that the US tariffs had been suspended and the commerce conflict was "on maintain".

"Concerns were expressed that the tariffs imposed by the United States on its friends and allies, on the grounds of national security, undermine open trade and confidence in the global economy", the statement said.

French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire referred to the "G6 plus one" and expressed "total incomprehension" over the U.S. actions.

President Donald Trump faced pushback Monday from Republican lawmakers, an influential GOP group and foreign leaders over his tough negotiations that are hitting China, Canada and Mexico with tariffs amid fears of a trade war.

China voiced regret over the European Union's decision to lodge an intellectual property rights complaint at the World Trade Organization, just as Beijing is embroiled in a similar dispute with Washington.

Then on Friday, the US imposed tariffs on steel and aluminum from the European Union, Canada and Mexico, all of which announced they would retaliate with their own duties.

The United States and China have threatened tit-for-tat tariffs on goods worth up to $150 billion each.

The Trump administration's own internal divisions may also be affecting the direction of the talks. -China trade talks dissolved in a matter of days, expectations were low for Ross' visit this week.

Members of Congress criticized the agreement to lift a ban on sales of USA components to ZTE, which admitted violating rules on exports to Iran and North Korea.

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