Published: Mon, March 26, 2018
World Media | By Shelia Harmon

China talks tough on trade war, warns USA of countermeasures

China talks tough on trade war, warns USA of countermeasures

The call between Mnuchin and Liu, a confidante of President Xi Jinping, was the highest-level contact between the two governments since U.S. President Donald Trump announced plans for tariffs on up to $60 billion of Chinese goods on Thursday.

The response by China's commerce ministry to the latest U.S trade measures is too weak, and should target USA soybeans, former Chinese finance minister Lou Jiwei said on Saturday.

He said his action would make the country stronger and richer.

American Keg CEO Paul Czachor on the impact of the Trump administration's tariffs on steel and aluminum.

Zhang Zhaoxiang, senior vice president of China Minmetals Corp [CHMIN.UL], said that while the state-owned mining group's steel exports to the US are tiny, the impact could come indirectly.

USTR has already identified potential targets: 1,300 product lines worth about $48 billion.

Besides its rapid growth, the Chinese economy is shifting towards high-quality development, Fu said, adding that the policies of cutting overcapacity and focusing on innovation and green development have brought China's petrochemical industry to a new stage.

China has made great efforts to be constructive to try and deal with the trade frictions in the face of United States provocation, the ruling Communist Party's official People's Daily wrote in a commentary.

Samantha Vadas explains how Trump's actions could destabilise economies across Asia - at least in the short-term.

Before the Trump announcement, China's ambassador to the WTO, Zhang Xiangchen, said China was considering a WTO complaint against the expected package of tariffs, but that was only one option. The idea is to go after Beijing for stealing American technology and pressuring USA companies to hand it over.

"Beijing is extending an olive branch and urging the U.S.to resolve trade disputes through dialogue rather than tariffs", said economist Vishnu Varathan of Mizuho Bank in a report.

Chinese officials warned of potential retaliation and expressed hopes that the USA would avoid taking actions that would hurt both countries.

China's Commerce Ministry said Beijing was considering a tariff increase of 25 per cent on pork and aluminum scrap, mirroring Trump's 25 per cent charge on steel.

TRT World's Tetiana Anderson has more from Washington, DC.

Overall, the nation's farmers shipped almost $20 billion of goods to China in 2017.

US agricultural exports to China stood at $19.6 billion past year, with soybean shipments accounting for $12.4 billion.

But he was slow to turn rhetoric to action.

Tori Whiting of The Heritage Foundation - an outspoken critic of tariffs - contends that these tariffs are quite different than what Americans had on solar panels and washing machines - as well as aluminum and steel imports. Then he unveiled the steel and aluminium tariffs, saying reliance on imported metals jeopardises United States national security. "We have spoken to China and we are in the middle of negotiations".

Trump added that his administration is doing things for this country that should have been done for many years under previous administrations.

But America's longstanding complaints about Chinese economic practices continued to simmer, and it became more and more apparent that the USA investigation into China's technology policies was going to end in trade sanctions.

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