China warns United States it will scrap agreements if tariffs are imposed

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

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

China on June 3 warned the United States that trade negotiations would be void if it imposes tariffs on Chinese goods, as the latest round of talks organised to avert a trade war between the two largest economies of the world ended here.

China's door to talks is open in principle, the country's Foreign Ministry said on Monday, a day after Beijing warned that any trade and business deals reached with Washington would be void if the United States implemented tariffs.

"Agreements between China and the United States should be based on the premise of both sides moving in the same direction and not waging a trade war", the Chinese statement said. -China trade relationship also remain unresolved. Although China does not export much steel or aluminum directly to the USA due to trade sanctions already in place, it views the US metals tariffs as a roundabout attack on its market power.

More than 50 USA officials are in Beijing for the trade talks.

"I want to be clear, this isn't just about [China] buying more goods, this is about structural changes", Mnuchin said.

Beijing has portrayed itself as a defender of free trade, despite China's status as the most closed major economy, in response to Trump's support for import controls.

The American Embassy in Beijing did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Mr. Ross's trip was meant to secure a deal for increased Chinese purchases of USA soybeans, beef, poultry, natural gas and crude oil, among other agricultural and energy products.

China's willingness to buy more American products and allow USA investments with IPR protections raised hopes of an agreement, which led to current round of talks in Beijing.

Chinese envoys had promised after the last high-level meeting in Washington in mid-May to buy more American farm goods and energy products.


The previous round of talks in Washington saw China pledging "significant increase" in its purchases of United States agricultural goods.

After the apparent cease-fire, global financial markets rallied in relief.

Last week the White House announced it would impose curbs on Chinese investment and purchases of USA high-tech goods and on visas for Chinese students. Those tensions continued last week, with Navarro dismissing Mnuchin's quote that the Trump administration was "putting the trade war on hold" as "an unfortunate soundbite".

Adding to the uncertainty, according to people familiar with the matter, US officials preparing for Mr. Ross's visit and their Chinese peers haggled over how to get Beijing to purchase more American farm and energy products. China balked at making concessions unless the US lifted the tariff threat.

The meeting went ahead despite that, but Beijing said it reserved the right to retaliate. Instead, China issued its own statement that both praised the negotiations for making "concrete progress" while threatening to abandon the earlier promises of increasing imports from the U.S.in retaliation for tariffs. "There is set to be a lot of wrestling with the U.S. in this regard", said He.

At the end of last month's Washington talks the two countries released a joint statement. -China trade talks dissolved in a matter of days, expectations were low for Ross' visit this week. Each statement was met with either retaliatory or conciliatory remarks from Beijing.

Other issues crucial to the U.S.

"Don't blame Trump. Blame China, blame Europe, blame NAFTA".

Ross was accompanied by agriculture, treasury and trade officials for the meeting at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse, a leafy compound on Beijing's west side.

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