China warns U.S. trade talks will be void if Washington imposes sanctions

03 June, 2018, 17:58 | Author: Kim Reid
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China has warned United States against slapping tariffs on Chinese goods as another round of bilateral talks on trade disputes ends in Beijing.

Other officials and technical experts from the Department of Commerce, Department of Treasury, United States Trade Representative, Department of Agriculture, and Department of Energy also took part, the White House said.

China on Sunday threatened retaliation against the USA 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.

During his stay, Ross has been looking to build on a vague joint statement released May 19, after the last negotiations in Washington.

China made the statement after talks with a USA delegation led by Commerce Secretary in Beijing on Saturday and Sunday.

China had promised at talks in Washington last month to significantly increase its imports of U.S. goods in an effort to reduce the massive trade imbalance between the two countries that Trump has frequently railed against.

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The planned United States trade sanctions on Beijing include restrictions on Chinese investment, export controls and 25% tariffs on $50 billion in tech goods.

China has threatened to retaliate by raising import duties on a $US50 billion ($66 billion) list of American goods including soybeans, small aircraft, whiskey, electric vehicles and orange juice.

"China is willing to increase imports from all countries in the world including the United States", the statement said.

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

"I want to be clear, this isn't just about [China] buying more goods, this is about structural changes", Mnuchin said.

On Saturday, Mattis said the Trump administration's recent decision to disinvite China from an upcoming naval exercise was an "initial response" to Beijing's aggressive activities.

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"Our meetings so far have been friendly and frank, and covered some useful topics about specific export items", Ross said, in brief comments before reporters.

Beijing has resisted U.S. pressure to commit to a firm target of narrowing its annual surplus with the United States by $US200 billion ($264 billion). Liu's delegation included China's central bank governor and commerce minister.

The move reflects growing American concern about China's status as a potential tech competitor and complaints Beijing improperly subsidises its fledgling industries and shields them from competition.

Ross had a working dinner Saturday evening with Liu, also at the same guesthouse in Beijing.

The agreement came several weeks after each country threatened to impose $150 billion tariffs on each other's goods and services.

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.

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