China threatens to abandon trade deal if U.S. imposes tariffs

China threatens to abandon trade deal if U.S. imposes tariffs

China threatens to abandon trade deal if U.S. imposes tariffs

The discussions in Beijing, led by US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, were meant to ease tensions after Washington said on Tuesday it would follow through with tariffs on Chinese imports despite a truce reached between the two sides last month.

"The attitude of the Chinese side remains consistent", it said.

Private sector analysts say Beijing may be willing to trim its trade surplus, but it will resist changes that might threaten its plans to transform China into a global technology competitor.

"We believe that regarding problems in the China-U.S. trade and economic relations, the two countries should work out a win-win and mutually beneficial resolution through dialogue and discussion with sincerity and in the spirit of equality and mutual respect".

US President Donald Trump threw the status of the talks into doubt by renewing a threat to raise tariffs on US$50 billion of Chinese goods over complaints Beijing steals or pressures foreign companies to hand over technology.

China has also threatened to hit back with tit-for-tat tariffs on tens of billions of dollars in United States goods.

Beijing said the two sides had made "positive and concrete progress" on matters like increasing agricultural and energy imports but said details were left for "both sides to finalise".

The White House has said it would announce a final list of Chinese imports covered by the U.S. tariffs on June 15, with the other measures to follow later this month.

There was no immediate comment from the United States delegation.

Ross and the large American delegation had dinner Saturday evening with their Chinese hosts.

He says steel tariffs will protect USA steelmakers, which he says are vital to national security.

Mnuchin had said on Saturday the USA wanted China to agree to structural change to its economy.

Addressing Liu earlier in the day at the start of their formal talks at a government guest house, Ross praised the tone of their interactions.

The U.S. delegation didn't comment after the talks but Ross earler said that the "meetings so far have been friendly and frank, and covered some useful topics about specific export items". "This is about structural changes", Mnuchin said Saturday.

State news outlets have portrayed the ZTE decision as having been made by Mr. Ross's Commerce Department, and they have suggested that it is merely a bargaining ploy as part of trade negotiations.

China has promised to "significantly increase" purchases of farm goods, energy and other products and services.

The two governments released no schedule for the talks, but China said earlier Ross was due to be in Beijing through to Monday.

He Weiwen, deputy director of the Centre for China and Globalisation and a former Commerce Ministry official in NY, said Beijing was prepared to take measures to narrow the trade gap but it was also prepared for a trade war.

China is maneuvering to take advantage of rebukes from US allies following the Trump administration's decision to slap tariffs on steel and aluminum imported from Canada, Mexico, and European Union. Germany is also hoping its steel exports to the U.S. will be exempted from sanctions.

Gai Xinzhe, an analyst at Bank of China's finance institute in Beijing, told Bloomberg that "China is concerned over the U.S.'s unpredictability, especially after Trump turned an about-face on tariffs".

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