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USA pressing China to cut trade surplus by $100bn: White House

USA pressing China to cut trade surplus by $100bn: White House

The push comes after Mr. Trump placed tariffs of 25 percent on US steel imports and 10 percent on aluminum imports, and tweeted in support of trade wars, even amid warnings from governments including China, Mexico, Canada and the EU.

A third source said the tariffs, associated with a "Section 301" intellectual property investigation under the 1974 US Trade Act that began in August previous year, could come "in the very near future".

Malmstrom, who held talks with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer on Saturday, said she had not been given any clear reassurance that the European Union would be exempted.

The White House declined comment on the size or timing of any move.

In Beijing, the Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang said that China-US trade relations should not be a zero-sum game and that the two countries should use "constructive" means to manage tension.

Anne Forristall Luke, president of the U.S. Tire Manufacturers Association, said the group would be "pressing very hard" for an exemption from tariffs for high-strength wire rod used to make cord for steel tire belts that is not produced by U.S. mills.

By targeting technology products, the Trump administration would be seeking to retaliate against Chinese policies that force American businesses to give up technology secrets in order to operate within China's borders, Reuters said.

More news: Union court action blocks South Africa renewable PPA signing

The euro slipped 0.2% against the dollar, inching off an overnight one-month high after European Central Bank (ECB) president Mario Draghi said the ECB needed more evidence that inflation was rising towards its target.

China has a trade surplus of more than $375 billion with the USA and when the lead economic adviser for President Xi Jinping recently visited Washington, the administration pushed him to give them a way China could reduce that number.

Trump came to office on a protectionist agenda and his first action as president was to pull the United States out of a Pacific trade pact, known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

The United States is expected to invoke a national security exception to WTO rules in imposing import tariffs of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum announced by Trump last week. "The key question is, does the U.S. retaliate against that retaliation", said Derek Scissors, a China trade expert at the American Enterprise Institute, a pro-business think tank.

Trump has spoken strongly about China's alleged theft of intellectual property, as well as the wider trade surplus it maintains with the US.

The EU says the best way forward would be for the U.S.to cooperate in trying to reduce a glut of steel and aluminum on worldwide markets, which experts says is largely due to China's overproduction in recent years.

"He's serious about calling their hand on this, and my understanding is they are looking at a broad array of options to do that", Brady said.


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