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China Rules Out New Talks with United States to Resolve Trade Dispute

26 September 2018

President Donald Trump is pressing China to reduce its huge bilateral trade surplus and make sweeping changes to its policies on trade, technology transfers and high-tech industrial subsidies.

Monday's U.S. -China tariff increase follows reports by The Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg News that Chinese officials pulled out of a meeting to discuss possible talks proposed by Washington. "How can talks proceed?" There's a growing consensus in Beijing that substantive talks will only be possible after US mid-term elections in November, the people said.

Still, the USA remains open to talks, Lindsay Walters, deputy White House press secretary, said in an emailed statement.

"China's door is always open for negotiations", the white paper said, but added they "cannot be carried out under the threat of a big tariff stick, nor at the expense of China's right to development". The government attacked Washington's bullying tactics and intimidation and promoted its own approach to resolving the dispute through consultation and cooperation. The price rise is notably caused by a recent drop in Iran's supply because of USA sanctions.

Wang told businessmen of the US-China Business Council and National Committee on United States-China Relations that "certain forces" in America were making groundless remarks against China in connection with trade and security matters.

After the latest round of tariffs came into affect the value of Chinese goods coming into the ambit of Trump's new duties stood at $250 billion with a potential to reach a total of $512 billion. Trump has threatened another round of tariffs, effectively covering every product the United States imports from China, if Beijing retaliates against Monday's tariffs.

USA imposed duties on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods, and a retaliatory set of tariffs imposed by Beijing on $60 billion worth of US goods, took effect on Monday.

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The turnaround is remarkable, given how sour corporate America had grown on China by the time Trump was inaugurated. By cutting tariffs, China is hoping to stimulate its economy and increase domestic consumption.

Business groups say American companies also report Chinese regulators are starting to disrupt their operations through slower customs clearance and more environmental and other inspections.

TRADE FIGHT: China issued a report accusing Washington of abandoning "mutual respect" required for worldwide relations and "trade bullyism" toward other governments.

"Trade negotiations must be based on mutual respect, equality, good faith and consistency in speech and action". No date has been set for a new round of talks on the trade conflict.

Production is dropping in some OPEC countries - like Iran, which is crippled by USA sanctions - and there is only so much that other nations, like Saudi Arabia, can do without shaking the balance of power in the cartel.

Earlier this month, strategists at the Commonwealth Bank of Australia warned the United States could eventually apply 25% tariffs on all Chinese imports, totalling over $US500 billion per annum, resulting in a 0.4 percentage point hit to Chinese GDP growth should such an outcome eventuate. They kept their forecast for China's GDP growth this year at 6.5%, but revised down the projection for 2019 to 6.0% from 6.2% previously.

The country's top trade negotiator, however, dodged CNN's question about if trade talks are becoming pointless if, as indicated in numerous state media commentaries, the Chinese leadership under President Xi Jinping increasingly views Trump's trade war as a strategic move to contain the rise of China.

Luo Wei, a vice minister at the MIIT, noted that some foreign companies may be considering moving to other countries to diversify risks or lower costs. The Chinese government had given no public indication whether it would accept the invitation.

China Rules Out New Talks with United States to Resolve Trade Dispute