'Frank' trade discussions in Beijing: US commerce secretary

04 June, 2018, 09:33 | Author: Jason Torres
  • Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross hints a trade war could be the result of new EU privacy laws given that the regulations include'unnecessary barriers to trade. If that happens it would be an additional front in a global trade war the President Donald Trum

China made the statement after talks with a usa delegation led by Commerce Secretary in Beijing on Saturday and Sunday. But the truce appeared to end with this week's announcement Washington was going ahead with tariff increases on technology goods and would also impose curbs on Chinese investment and purchases of USA hi-tech exports.

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".

The tone of the statement suggested that China's concessions at last month's talks in Washington were not enough for the Trump administration, says BBC Asia Business correspondent Karishma Vaswani.

"China is willing to sit down and negotiate - the country does have a need to import more consumer goods and natural gas", he said.

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

"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", the agency concluded.

China has threatened to dash any trade agreements struck with the USA in recent weeks if President Donald Trump moves ahead with his threat to level tariff hikes against Chinese goods.

Trump also has threatened to raise tariffs on an additional $100 billion of Chinese goods, but gave no indication this week whether that would go ahead.

"Tariffs and expanding exports - the United States can't have both", it said.

The American Embassy in Beijing did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

China has broadly pledged to narrow its trade surplus with the USA, which past year topped $375 billion (€320 billion).

U.S. levies steel, aluminum tariffs on allies, risks trade war
Stocks in the U.S. fell as the administration ignored the pleas from business lobbying groups including the U.S. Finally, talks to revise the North American Free Trade Agreement remain unresolved.

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

At a heated meeting in the Canadian ski resort of Whistler, the European Union and Canada threatened to retaliate against tariffs of 25% on steel and 10% on aluminium, whose implementation Mr Ross announced on Thursday.

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.

"It has been a tense and tough G7 - I would say it's been far more a G6 plus one than a G7", said Le Maire, who called the tariffs unjustified.

Following Beijing's announcement, US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the dispute was "on hold".

"There are structural changes that allow our companies to compete fairly".

On Saturday, Trump weighed in on the trade situation with other countries. The U.S. team also wants to secure greater intellectual property protection and an end to Chinese subsidies that have contributed to overproduction of steel and aluminium.

China's delegation included central bank governor Yi Gang, Commerce Minister Zhong Shan, and Ning Jizhe, a deputy head of the National Development and Reform Commission, a powerful planning body.

Meanwhile, G7 nations have hit out at the U.S. over its new steel and aluminium import tariffs.

Trade analysts had warned Ross's hand might be weakened if the Trump administration alienated allies who share complaints about Chinese technology policy and a flood of low-cost steel, aluminum and other exports.

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