Economy

China Trade Talks End in an Impasse

China Trade Talks End in an Impasse

"If the USA introduces trade sanctions including tariff increases, all economic and trade achievements negotiated by the two parties so far will be void", said a Chinese government statement issued by the official Xinhua news agency.

USA commerce secretary Wilbur Ross, left, with Chinese vice premier Liu He after their meeting at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing, China on Sunday.

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

While the team may be inching toward technical agreement in that direction, the talks are overshadowed by the unpredictability of USA policy in the wake of recent reversals that have seen tariffs placed on metals imports by allies.

China has promised to "significantly increase" purchases of farm goods, energy and other products and services. CCTV reported Ross and his delegation had an initial meeting at the Diaoyutai State Guest House in the afternoon, and the two sides would hold a formal meeting tomorrow.

President Donald Trump announced that the US will forge ahead with a plan to slap tariffs on $50 billion of Chinese imports just 10 days after the two reached the truce agreement in Washington.

Following Beijing's announcement, US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the dispute was "on hold". Liu is also a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, and chief of the Chinese side of the China-U.S. comprehensive economic dialogue.

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

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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.

Some people familiar with the matter have told Reuters that approval may depend on progress of broader talks and a reprieve from a USA government ban on sales by US companies to China's ZTE Corp, penalised for illegally supplying telecommunications gear to Iran and North Korea.

The two countries have threatened tit-for-tat tariffs on goods worth up to $150bn each.

"Our meetings so far have been friendly and frank, and covered some useful topics about specific export items", said Ross at the opening of Sunday's meeting.

Foreign governments and businesses cite strategic plans such as "Made in China 2025", which calls for state-led efforts to create Chinese industry leaders in areas from robots to electric cars to computer chips.

The visit comes 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 came into effect on Friday.

That might alienate allies who share complaints about Chinese technology policy and a flood of low-cost steel, aluminium and other exports they say are the result of improper subsidies and hurt foreign competitors.


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