Concessions will not be implemented if USA imposes trade sanctions, warns China

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

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

US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross started to meet officials in Beijing on Saturday for talks on China's promise to buy more American goods after Washington revived tensions by renewing its threat of higher tariffs on mainland hi-tech exports.

The statement Sunday came shortly after delegations led by U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and China's top economic official, Vice Premier Liu He, held another round of talks on China's pledge to narrow its trade surplus with the United States by purchasing more American goods. At the meetings last week between lower-level Chinese and US officials, negotiations almost stalled as the two sides failed to reach an agreement on details for increasing Chinese purchases of USA crude oil, soybeans, natural gas, beef, and poultry. The U-S has threatened to implement tariffs on 50 billion dollars worth of Chinese imports.

The event went ahead despite that but Beijing said it reserved the right to retaliate.

Instead, China issued its own statement that both praised the negotiations for making "concrete progress" while threatening to abandon the earlier promises of increasing imports from the U.S.in retaliation for tariffs.

Although the Chinese refused to agree to specific numerical targets that the Trump administration officials sought, the agreement to a broad framework to increase US exports to China was enough to prompt Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to announce that a truce in the "trade war".

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

Ross arrived in Beijing on Saturday for talks after the Trump administration renewed tariff threats against China, and with key USA allies in a foul mood toward Washington after they were hit with duties on steel and aluminum. That comes at the same time Trump has riled some of America's closest allies with the imposition of tariffs on steel and aluminum imports. Trump has criticized the massive trade gap between the two countries.

The visit from the large U.S. delegation, with members from several executive branch agencies, came as fears of an all-out global trade war intensified after the European Union, Canada and Mexico drew up retaliatory measures to Washington's stinging steel and aluminium tariffs that went into effect on Friday.

French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire compared Washington's action to something out of the old "Wild West". China's willingness to buy more American products and allow United States investments with IPR protections raised hopes of an agreement, which led to current round of talks in Beijing. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said then that the US tariffs were suspended and the trade war "on hold".

That truce appeared to end with Tuesday's surprise announcement.

China too threatened a tit-for-tat retaliation but blinked in the end with a categorical undertaking to import more goods from the USA, sparking off concerns over the likely trade war between the two countries for its potential to create a cascading effect on the global trade order.

Analysts suggested Trump might be trying to appease critics of his administration's deal to allow Chinese telecom equipment giant ZTE Corp.to stay in business.

They said those political pressures meant the technology-related tariff hikes were likely to go ahead.

The 50-member strong U.S. raised topics including additional Chinese purchases of U.S. exports. In exchange, the company is to remove its management team, hire American compliance officers and pay a fine.

China too threatened a tit-for-tat retaliation but blinked in the end with a categorical undertaking to import more goods from the United States, sparking off concerns over the likely trade war between the two countries.

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