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China warns United States imposing sanctions will void any outcome of trade talks

06 June 2018

China warned Sunday after another round of talks on a sprawling trade dispute with Washington that any deals they produce "will not take effect" if President Donald Trump's threatened tariff hike on Chinese goods goes ahead.

China on Sunday threatened retaliation against the US 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.

Beijing said the 2 sides had made "positive and concrete progress" on matters like increasing agricultural and energy imports but said details were left for "both sides to finalize".

"If the US rolls out trade measures including tariffs, all the agreements reached in the negotiations won't take effect", state-run Xinhua News Agency reported Sunday, citing a statement from the Chinese team that met with a usa delegation led by Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross. Last month, they held talks in Washington and put out a joint statement.

Trump wrote in a series of tweets that his trade negotiations with China and a slew of US allies would break down large trade barriers faced by American farmers.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross says U.S. and Chinese officials have discussed specific American export items Beijing might buy as part of its pledge to narrow its trade surplus with the United States. 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. He called for tariffs on $50 billion of imports from China unless it addressed the issue of theft of American intellectual property.

Since November, China has announced plans to end limits on foreign ownership in its insurance and auto industries and to reduce import tariffs on autos and a range of consumer goods. The purchases are meant to reduce America's massive trade deficit in goods and services with China, which past year came to $337 billion, according to the U.S. Commerce Department.

"China expresses regret over the European Union launching the complaint and will properly handle it according to the WTO dispute settlement procedures", China's Ministry of Commerce said in a statement published late Sunday.

Tensions eased after China promised on May 19 to "significantly increase" purchases of farm goods, energy and other products and services following the last round of talks in Washington.

A Whitehouse statement last week, which took aim at years of "unfair" trade practices, warned the United States would pursue 25% tariffs on $50bn (£37bn) worth of Chinese imports. President Trump, along with his Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross tend to emphasize reducing the current $337 billion annual deficit by raising USA exports in agriculture, energy, and other sectors.

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If the United States imposes the tariffs, China has previously said, Beijing would retaliate by blocking an equal value of soybeans and other goods from the United States.

Meanwhile, negotiations with Canada and Mexico regarding the North American Free Trade Agreement are turning toxic as those countries weigh retaliation against Washington for the new steel and aluminium tariffs.

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

Bruno Le Maire, France's finance and economy minister, was blunt in his assessment of the meeting.

Calling the United States tariffs on steel and aluminium "deeply deplorable", Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso said, "I've been to these meetings for a long time".

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 the "structural changes" the USA is seeking to impose, with tariffs directed against goods manufactured under Beijing's "Made in China 2025" program, amount to nothing less than the transformation of China into an economic semi-colony of the US.

Our correspondent says acrimonious debate is likely to continue next weekend when the leaders of the G7 countries - including Mr Trump - meet for a summit in Quebec.

The trade dispute began in March, when the president threatened to slap tariffs on up to $50 billion in Chinese imports to punish Beijing for abusing American intellectual-property rights.

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.

China warns United States imposing sanctions will void any outcome of trade talks