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Chinese Agreements to Have No Binding Force, If US Imposes Tariffs - Beijing

Chinese Agreements to Have No Binding Force, If US Imposes Tariffs - Beijing

At the end of last month's Washington talks the two countries released a joint statement.

Beijing was responding to threats by President Trump to impose tariffs on more than €42 billion of Chinese exports.

The event went ahead despite that but Beijing said it reserved the right to retaliate.

China too threatened a tit-for-tat retaliation but blinked in the end with a categorical undertaking to import more goods from the USA, sparking off concerns over the likely trade war between the two countries.

In the U.S., China hawks have been wary of the deal that Secretary Ross pursued in Beijing.

Mr Trump is pressing Beijing to narrow its politically volatile trade surplus with the United States, which reached a record $US375.2 billion ($495.7 billion) past year.

The tariffs announced Thursday on steel from Canada, Mexico and Europe have no effect on China.

After a three-day meeting of finance ministers from the G7 industrial nations that ended Saturday in Canada, Canadian Finance Minister Bill Morneau issued a summary saying the other six members want Trump to hear their message of "concern and disappointment" over the us trade actions.

Canada plans to impose tariffs of up to 25% on about $13bn worth of U.S. exports from 1 July.

Bruno Le Maire, France's finance and economy minister, was blunt in his assessment of the meeting. But the United States Commerce Secretary appeared to be the only one in a positive mood.

It referred instead to a consensus they reached last month in Washington, when China agreed to increase significantly its purchases of USA goods and services.

More news: Trump hints at bilateral deals with Canada, Mexico

Ross had been expected to seek clear commitments from Beijing to boost Chinese imports of United States products in areas such as energy and agriculture.

The purchases are partly aimed at shrinking the $375 billion USA goods trade deficit with China.

Chinese state media have glossed over why the United States sales ban was imposed: ZTE's ties to North Korea and Iran. In exchange, the company is to remove its management team, hire American compliance officers and pay a fine.

Trump also has threatened to raise tariffs on an additional US$100 billion of Chinese goods, but gave no indication this week whether that would go ahead.

But China has refused to commit to the USA demand to slash the gap by $200 billion.

It criticised Tuesday's announcement but refrained from repeating its earlier threat. Still, Beijing resisted pressure to commit to a specific target of narrowing its annual surplus with the United States by US$200 billion.

Xinhua said China's attitude had been consistent and that it was willing to increase imports from all countries, including the United States.

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.

Liu is also a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, and chief of the Chinese side of the China-US comprehensive economic dialogue.

Ross and the large American delegation had dinner Saturday evening with their Chinese hosts.

Ross told reporters following a meeting Sunday with Vice Premier Liu He that the encounter had been "friendly and frank, and covered some useful topics about specific export items".


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