China Vows To Protect Its Interests From 'Reckless' U.S. Trade Threats

Geneva Stokes
May 31, 2018

The White House said the United States "will impose a 25 per cent tariff on $50 billion of goods imported from China containing industrially significant technology, including those related to "Made in China 2025".

The new tariff is part of one of the three major steps that the USA is taking based on the March 22, memorandum signed by President Donald Trump.

The White House also says the United States is planning new investment restrictions and export controls.

The White House said Tuesday that it would provide details of the Chinese products affected by the new tariffs on June 15 and that they will take effect "shortly thereafter".

Hitting back at the Trump administration's threat to impose a 25 per cent tariff on $50 billion goods imported from China, foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said, "In global relations, every flip-flop and U-turn by a country will undermine and hurt its own credibility".

Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing today.

Mnuchin's remarks May 20 that "we're putting the trade war on hold", plus Trump's recent move to ease up on penalties against Chinese telecom giant ZTE, drew a sharp backlash among Trump's trade-policy supporters who criticized the president for going back on his promise to get tough on China.

A truce between China and the USA said to put a trade war on hold has dissolved in less than two weeks. The dispute began in March, when his administration threatened to slap tariffs on as much as US$50 billion in Chinese shipments to punish Beijing for violating American I.P. rights.

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All the talk of reducing the massive USA trade deficit boils down to one issue - technology. China said the claims were unproven and sometimes speculative.

A team of USA negotiators arrived in China on Wednesday for preliminary trade talks in advance of Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross scheduled trip to Beijing this weekend.

China retaliated by imposing additional tariffs worth about $3 billion on 128 American products.

In mid-May, China agreed to boost imports of US grain as well as oil and gas.

The administration also said it would pursue a settlement over its dispute with China before the World Trade Organization regarding what it says were unfair technology licensing deals.

The trademark approvals were dated May 7, a week before President Donald Trump extended an olive branch on ZTE in his trade tussle with China.

It comes as Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross prepares to travel to Beijing this week for another round of talks aimed at resolving the conflict. "As the United States and China prepare for another round of negotiations, we hope the administration has clearly defined objectives and concrete solutions to resolve this trade dispute without tariffs". In addition, the United States will continue efforts to protect domestic technology and intellectual property, stop noneconomic transfers of industrially significant technology and intellectual property to China, and enhance access to the Chinese market, the White House said.

Some trade experts said the tariff announcement is likely meant to strengthen Ross's hand.

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