Commerce Secretary To Press China To Buy As Allies Seethe Over Tariffs

  • Commerce Secretary To Press China To Buy As Allies Seethe Over Tariffs

Commerce Secretary To Press China To Buy As Allies Seethe Over Tariffs

US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said on Sunday trade talks have been "friendly and frank" as the US and China continued with a second day of negotiations in Beijing aimed at deescalating tensions between the two sides.

"The achievements reached by China and the United States should be based on the premise that the two sides should meet each other halfway and not fight a trade war", the agency concluded.

While details are still being finalised, both countries worked to implement the consensus reached from earlier trade talks in Washington in various fields such as agriculture and energy, which Beijing says will be void if US President Donald Trump imposes in trade sanctions to keep up pressure.

"If the United States side imposes trade restrictions, including high tariffs, then all trade agreements reached as result of talks will have no binding force", the statement read.

On Sunday, Chinese media reports framed the lack of concrete outcomes in the latest round of talks as Beijing's way of driving home the point that no substantial discussions can take place when the threat of tariffs looms large.

"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 statement read. "However, what the saying right now is: "I'm done with you, I don't want to stick with the rules anymore", and there's not much we can do", said Lu Zhengwei, chief economist at Industrial Bank in Shanghai.

Mr Ross and Mr Liu held a working dinner on Saturday ahead of their talks.

On Saturday, Mattis said the Trump administration's recent decision to disinvite China from an upcoming naval exercise was an "initial response" to Beijing's aggressive activities.

But the International Monetary Fund has warned that a trade war could threaten the recovery, and policy makers are contending with a growing list of geopolitical risks, from a political crisis in Italy to the rocky progress of peace talks with North Korea.

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross leaves a hotel ahead of trade talks with Chinese officials in Beijing, June 2, 2018.

As the trade dispute threatened to blow up into a full scale "war", US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin came under fire from the European Union at the Group of Seven, or G7, meeting of finance leaders in the Canadian ski resort of Whistler.

"Tariffs and expanding exports - the United States can't have both", it said.

Tensions temporarily eased on May 19 after China promised to "significantly increase" its purchases of US farm, energy and other products.

Ross, who was preceded in Beijing this week by more than 50 US officials, was expected during the two-day visit to try to secure long-term purchases of USA farm and energy commodities to help shrink a $375 billion trade deficit with China.

U.S. allegations that China steals company secrets are at the heart of the ongoing trade dispute between the world's two biggest economies.

Only two days ago, on Friday, steel and aluminium tariffs were imposed on the EU, Canada and Mexico.

Separately, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin was the target of United States allies' ire at the weekend as new United States tariffs of 25 per cent on steel and 10 per cent on aluminium took effect.