U.S. commerce secretary in China for talks to avoid trade war

U.S. commerce secretary in China for talks to avoid trade war

U.S. commerce secretary in China for talks to avoid trade war

A 50-strong US delegation arrived in Beijing on Wednesday for follow-up meetings, Chinese commerce ministry spokesman Gao Feng said, without proving more details.

White House advisers, meanwhile, insisted on fundamental changes in ties between the world's two biggest economic powers.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, left, shakes hands with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He as they pose for photographers after their meeting at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing, Sunday, Jun 3, 2018.

A statement released by the Chinese side at the talks with the usa in Beijing said nothing specific about the outcome, and referred back to an agreement reached in Washington last month to increase the purchase of U.S. goods and services.

"Knowing that at the end of the day Trump has no stomach for a debilitating trade war, Beijing's strategy is to manipulate and play the U.S., and without giving back any meaningful concessions", he said.

That position is unlikely to satisfy the Trump administration.

"If the US introduces commerce sanctions together with a tariff improve, all of the financial and commerce achievements negotiated by the 2 events is not going to take impact", stated a Chinese language authorities assertion, carried by the official Xinhua Information Company. Still, Beijing resisted pressure to commit to a specific target of narrowing its annual surplus with the United States by $200 billion.

The White House announced days before Ross' arrival that it would impose 25% tariffs on USD50 billion worth of Chinese imports despite having previously agreed to put the tariffs on hold.

Although China had previously agreed to buy more USA goods, details of that have yet to be agreed. "However we're additionally standing agency that the president is the chief on this".

There was no news from the Beijing talks about the fate of ZTE, the Chinese tech company that has been crippled by a USA government ban on buying American parts.

Washington wants Beijing to narrow its trade surplus.

China has targeted $50 billion in US products in retaliation.

Chinese envoys had promised after the last high-level meeting in Washington in mid-May to buy more American farm goods and energy products.

"This is really the US going it alone", said Philip Levy, senior fellow at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs who was a trade adviser in the George W. Bush administration.

The purchases are partly aimed at shrinking the $375bn United States goods trade deficit with China.

After the apparent cease-fire, global financial markets rallied in relief.

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Trump has threatened to raise tariffs on up to $150 billion of Chinese goods.

"If the USA launches trade sanction measures, including the imposition of tariffs, then all the economic and trade benefits negotiated by both sides are not going to take effect". China balked at making concessions except the USA lifted the tariff risk.

In the United States, tariffs - also called duties or levies - are collected by Customs and Border Protection agents at 328 ports of entry across the country. That would amount to more than one-third of Chinese imports of American goods.

Chinese observers said Ross, who led the United States delegation to Beijing, has not been given enough power to make decisions.

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.

Zimmerman said: "Trump's threat of sanctions, the internal infighting among the USA team, and lack of a sensible Plan B is not a cohesive strategy but evidence of a desperate desire for a deal, any deal".

The US has not released its statement on the talks. Each statement was met with either retaliatory or conciliatory remarks from Beijing.

But the president defended his actions saying the US would soon be in a stronger position with its top trading partners.

The company's links to North Korea in particular are politically inconvenient for China because Beijing has claimed that China's enforcement of global sanctions against North Korea helped pave the way for the coming summit in Singapore between Trump and North Korea's leader, Kim Jong Un.

On the Chinese side, officials including Commerce Minister Zhong Shan, Central Bank Governor Yi Gang, Vice Agricultural Minister Han Jun, and Li Fanrong, vice minister of national energy administration, accompanied Liu in the talks, according to a media pool report.

The President also declared that the United States has had experience getting ripped off on trade matters for many years, and it was high time for them to get smart.

The formation of the World Trade Organization and the advent of trade deals like the North American Free Trade Agreement among the U.S., Mexico and Canada reduced tariffs or eliminated them altogether.

Bruno Le Maire, France's finance and economy minister, was blunt in his assessment of the meeting.

"The idea that our soldiers who have fought and died together in the mountains of Afghanistan and stood shoulder to shoulder, somehow this is insulting to them", he said in an interview with NBC's "Meet the Press".

However, U.S. President Donald Trump unexpectedly toughened his trade stance this week. "China-U.S. trade negotiations have to dig up the two sides' greatest number of common interests, and can not be tilted toward unilateral U.S. interests".

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