Published: Mon, March 12, 2018
World Media | By Shelia Harmon

China Minister Says Trade War Would Bring 'Disaster' to World

China Minister Says Trade War Would Bring 'Disaster' to World

After pressure from allies, the United States has opened the way for more exemptions from tariffs of 25% on steel imports and 10% on aluminum that US President Donald Trump set last week. Increased tariffs triggered an enormous controversy in the worldwide community, the European Union and Japan demanded exceptions for themselves.

The tariffs are considered to be targeted at China due to the country's production of global surpluses of steel.

Zhong, speaking on the sidelines of China's annual session of parliament, said China does not want a trade war and will not initiate one.

A trade war between China and the United States would be disastrous not only for the two countries involved, but also the rest of the world, Beijing warned on Sunday.

"We have noticed that some foreign-funded businesses have complained about China's investment environment", Zhong said. Last week, Trump tweeted the USA could win a trade war. Of those imports, South Korea, Japan, China and India accounted for 6.6 million tonnes.

Zhong added that the United States trade deficit with China is overestimated by about 20 percent, citing research by a panel tasked with investigating the discrepancy between the two nations' accounts of their trade balance. He accused China of manipulating its currency to make its exports more competitive on the global market.

The U.S. deficit with China came to $375 billion in 2017, accounting for roughly half the nation's trade deficit globally, Washington said last month.

Trade tensions between the world's two largest economies are widely expected to intensify this year as Washington's trade policy with Beijing is influenced by hardliners such as White House trade adviser Peter Navarro and US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer.

He also reiterated a previous pledge that China would lower import tariffs on consumer goods including automobiles, as part of an effort to boost domestic consumption.

Part of the reason for the trade gap, Zhong said, was that the USA had restricted hi-tech exports to China.

Nonetheless, there is growing bipartisan consensus in Washington, and support within some segments of the USA business community, for the USA government to counter what are seen as Beijing's predatory industrial policies and market restrictions on foreign firms.

China would like to solve differences via cooperation and seek win-win outcomes to benefit the two countries and help stabilize global economy, he added.

"We want to cooperate with Japan further" in advancing the Chinese project, Zhong said.

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