China warns USA sanctions will void trade talks

America’s traditional allies are desperately seeking new friends as US President Donald Trump hails the leaders of North Korea and China instead but may have to rely on themselves to ride out the storm analysts said. — Reuters pic

China warns USA sanctions will void trade talks

China has warned United States against slapping tariffs on Chinese goods as another round of bilateral talks on trade disputes ends in Beijing.

'If the United States introduces trade sanctions including tariffs, all the economic and trade achievements negotiated by the two parties will be void, ' said a statement on Sunday from the Chinese government, which was carried by the official Xinhua News Agency.

At the talks in Beijing this weekend, "the two sides had good exchanges of views on implementing the consensus reached in Washington, particularly in the areas of agriculture and energy", Xinhua reported.

A United States delegation led by Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross held talks with Chinese negotiators in Beijing on Saturday and Sunday.

Mr Ross said at the start of the event they had discussed specific American exports China might purchase, but the talks ended with no joint statement and neither side released details.

"If the USA implements trade sanctions, including raising tariffs, then all the economic and trade outcomes negotiated by the two sides will not take effect", said a statement carried by the official Xinhua news agency.

Most economists - Trump's trade adviser Peter Navarro is a notable exception - say no. The purchases are meant to reduce America's massive trade deficit in goods and services with China, which a year ago came to $337 billion, according to the U.S. Commerce Department.

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The U.S. delegation conveyed Trump's goal of a fair trading relationship with China, the White House said in a statement.

Ross, who was preceded in Beijing last week by more than 50 US officials, is expected during the two-day visit to try to secure long-term purchases of USA farm and energy commodities to help shrink the USA trade deficit.

Ross' failure to publicly comment or immediately release a statement on the outcome of the talks may have been due to the USA delegation needing to assess Trump's willingness to accept a Chinese deal.

On the Chinese side, officials including Commerce Minister Zhong Shan, Central Bank Governor Yi Gang, Vice Agricultural Minister Han Jun, and Li Fanrong, vice minister of national energy administration, accompanied Liu in the talks, according to a media pool report.

In the United States, tariffs - also called duties or levies - are collected by Customs and Border Protection agents at 328 ports of entry across the country.

French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire compared Washington's action to something out of the old "Wild West".

The Beijing meetings came at the end of a turbulent week during which Trump fired the first shots in a global trade war by reviving plans to slap new tariffs on Chinese goods and hitting Canada, Mexico and the European Union with steep tariffs on metal imports.

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German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz voiced the opposition of other members of the G7 to the decision of the USA to pull out of the worldwide nuclear agreement with Tehran and the threat by the United States to impose sanctions on European countries that continue to trade with Iran.

Washington and Beijing have threatened tit-for-tat tariffs on goods worth up to $150 billion each.

"It can be resolved, if people work together".

The president last week imposed tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from top US trading partners, including Canada, Mexico and the European Union. But change technology tactics that are China's path to prosperity and its rightful place as a global leader?

Before Beijing joined the World Trade Organization in 2001, such "technology transfer" often was an explicit requirement for foreign companies that wanted access to China's state-dominated economy.

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.

In 2017, Trump vetoed the sale of a US semiconductor manufacturer to a Chinese investor on national security grounds after Washington concluded the financing came from China's government.

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