Published: Thu, May 31, 2018
Worldwide | By Stella Potter

China slams USA for 'sudden flip-flops' in trade policy

China slams USA for 'sudden flip-flops' in trade policy

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying made the remarks when commenting on the latest statement by the White House on Tuesday saying that the United States will impose a 25 percent tariff on 50 billion US dollars of goods imported from China which contain industrially significant technology.

Fears of a trade war between the world's two biggest economies had also receded after the administration of President Donald Trump said it had reached a deal that would put ZTE Corp back in business after banning China's second-biggest telecoms equipment maker from buying US technology parts.

The White House announcement said it also would impose curbs on Chinese investment and purchases of high-tech exports. The list of restrictions will be announced by June 30, the White House said.

On Tuesday, the Trump administration renewed its threat to place 25 percent tariffs on $50 billion of Chinese goods in retaliation for trade practices it calls unfair.

The final list of items subject to the new tariffs will be released on June 15, with formal imposition of these duties occurring a few days later.

"We urge the United States to keep its promise, and meet China halfway in the spirit of the joint statement", spokeswoman Hua Chunying was quoted as saying at a regular news briefing.

US President Donald Trump has put a missile, in the form of trade sanctions, back on the launchpad, started fueling it, and programmed its computer to strike Beijing.

The actions, based on recommendations of the Office of the US Trade Representative, are part of an effort to force Beijing to grant American companies easier access to its markets and balance the bilateral trade relationship.

Meanwhile, China has warned of equal retaliation, including duties on some of its most significant US imports, like aircraft, soybeans and vehicles.

After that meeting, the two sides announced that Beijing would buy significantly more USA agricultural and energy products in a bid to reduce the bilateral trade deficit, and they said they established a framework for addressing technology trade irritants.

"No matter what the actions that the United States plans to take, China has the confidence, the capability and the experience to defend the core interests of the people and the nation", the statement said. Some, like Mr. Mnuchin, have focused on a potential compromise deal that would require China to buy huge amounts of American products while still forestalling the possibility of a trade war.

She said that China has consistently advocated handling and settling economic and trade differences in a constructive manner through talks, which is in the fundamental long-term interests of the two countries and the two peoples, and the common aspiration of the global community.

Lastly, the White House said it will continue to pursue litigation at the World Trade Organization (WTO) against China. The Ministry said the White House's announcement "is contrary to the consensus the two sides have previously reached", according to China's official news agency, Xinhua. The investigation determined that Beijing commits intellectual property theft and forces foreign companies to hand over valuable data in order to operate in the Chinese market and compete with domestic firms.

There are a few tactical reasons the Trump administration may have decided on Tuesday to go ahead with tariffs and investment restrictions. If the preliminary talks in Beijing don't make progress, Secretary Ross' trip could be cancelled. The fine would be on top of a $1 billion penalty ZTE has already paid for selling high-tech equipment to North Korea and Iran in violation of US sanctions.

Donald Trump is gearing up for a trade war with China. While most visas are issued for the longest possible length of time under law, the new policy will allow US officials to put a one-year cap on visas for Chinese graduate students who are "studying in fields like robotics, aviation and high-tech manufacturing", according to the Associated Press.

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