China warns US no deal if tariffs go ahead

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

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

China on Sunday threatened retaliation against the US during a round of trade talks, saying that economic and trade deals negotiated by the two countries would become "void" should Washington impose new sanctions.

The Chinese statement said the two sides "achieved positive and concrete progress" on Sunday.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross leaves a hotel ahead of trade talks with Chinese officials in Beijing Thomson Reuters BEIJING (Reuters) - U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross will meet Chinese Vice Premier Liu He on Sunday, as officials from the world's two largest economies try to calm an escalating trade dispute that has rattled financial markets. Ross said at the opening of the meeting the two sides had discussed specific American exports Chinese might purchase, but neither side disclosed details of the talks.

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.

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.

Chinese state media have glossed over why the United States sales ban was imposed: ZTE's ties to North Korea and Iran. Mr. Liu, an economist, is seen as one of the few moderates in a Chinese government increasingly dominated by advocates of greater state control of the economy.

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

China also signaled that it won't be pressured into making major changes to its economic policies.

Tensions temporarily eased May 19 after China promised to "significantly increase" its purchases of US farm, energy and other products.

But the Trump administration ramped up tensions against when it announced that it planned to move forward with the tariffs, pending further discussions with the Chinese.

China's attitude towards imports has been consistent: It is willing to increase imports from all countries, including the United States, according to Xinhua.

French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire even referred to the bloc as G6+1 as an indication of the deepening rift.

China is threatening to retaliate against proposed US tariffs after Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross' trip to Beijing failed to yield an agreement on trade.

"Yet the markets are reacting with the same indifference with which they responded to the tariffs being levied on the US's closest allies last week, in a sign that traders are becoming increasingly accustomed to Trump's heavy-handed negotiating tactics".

Ross is "going there to tread water", the person said, declining to be identified due to the sensitivity of the matter. Beijing had said it reserved the right to retaliate.

Those hard issues include what the USA complains is rampant theft of intellectual property, as well as Beijing's support for cutting-edge technologies under its Made in China 2025 policy.

The Trump administration's shifting stance on China may also complicate Ross's ability to extract concessions from Beijing.

But Mr. Trump upended the truce last Tuesday by renewing his threat to impose 25 percent tariffs on $50 billion in Chinese high-tech goods.

Trade analysts warned Ross's hand might be weakened by the Trump administration's decision Thursday to go ahead with tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Canada, Europe and Mexico. -China trade talks dissolved in a matter of days, expectations were low for Ross' visit this week. In addition, the first approach has already raised concerns amongst U.S. allies, partners, and competitors that increased United States exports to China will come at the expense of their own exports to China.

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