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China criticizes 'protectionism' after U.S. steel tariff hike

06 June 2018

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

His promise comes after Canada, Mexico and China have threatened levies on American agriculture goods in response to new US tariffs and American farmers, who helped put Trump in the White House, worry they will take the brunt of the global anger at the president.

Neither country has implemented the tariffs yet and continued discussions to find a way out of the impasse.

After a lull in tensions following China's May 19 pledge, the White House renewed its threat last week.

A Whitehouse statement last week, which took aim at years of "unfair" trade practices, warned the usa would pursue 25% tariffs on $50bn (£37bn) worth of Chinese imports.

More broadly, economists say trade restrictions make the economy less efficient.

"Each side seem to have hardened their negotiating stances and are ready for the opposite aspect to blink", stated Eswar Prasad, professor of commerce coverage at Cornell College.

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Nationalistic tabloid Global Times said in an editorial that the United States ploy of alternating between threats and offers to negotiate showed that it may change its position at any time, and China must be prepared for a long-drawn trade conflict.

"Concerns were expressed that the tariffs imposed by the United States on its friends and allies, on the grounds of national security, undermine open trade and confidence in the global economy", the statement said.

Although China had previously agreed to buy more United States goods, details of that have yet to be agreed. "We would love to have a peaceful, friendly relationship with China".

President Donald Trump is pressing Beijing to narrow its politically volatile surplus in trade in goods with the United States, which reached a record $375.2 billion past year. China has focused $50 billion in USA merchandise for doable retaliation.

The US is also skeptical of the deal, the report said, because the energy purchases that would be directed to China could just come from exports to other countries - which would mitigate the overall trade deficit benefit - and there is a sense that US farmers could not ramp up production fast enough.

The U.S. government has said a team of commerce, treasury and agriculture officials were in Beijing to make preparations. 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.

After the obvious cease-fire, worldwide monetary markets rallied in reduction. The US and China have threatened each other with $US150 billion in tariffs.

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Trump's trade and tariffs battles and the uncertainty of how the war will play out is adding to the farmers anxiety. His hardline trade adviser, Peter Navarro, charged Wednesday that Mnuchin's conciliatory comments about China were "an unfortunate sound bite".

Mr Ross and Mr Liu held a working dinner on Saturday ahead of their talks. China balked at making concessions unless the USA lifted the tariff threat.

Blame China and those who are breaking trade rules, not Donald Trump, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said as China warned that all commitments so far in talks with the US over trade will be withdrawn if the president carries out his threat to impose tariffs.

"The Chinese government's attitude of not wanting but also not fearing a trade war has never changed", it said.

That position is unlikely to satisfy the Trump administration.

Sure enough, there was no joint statement issued after the talks.

"All economic and trade outcomes of the talks will not take effect if the USA imposes any trade sanctions including raising tariffs".

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The U.S. move provoked anger and frustration in capitals usually seen as strongholds of North American support, with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau calling the duties 'totally unacceptable'.

China criticizes 'protectionism' after U.S. steel tariff hike