China warns USA trade deals off if tariffs go ahead

China warns USA trade deals off if tariffs go ahead

China warns USA trade deals off if tariffs go ahead

"If the United States introduces trade sanctions including a tariff increase, all the economic and trade achievements negotiated by the two parties will not take effect", the Chinese government said in a statement to Xinhua state news agency Sunday, The Associated Press reported.

China said Sunday that any trade deals now being discussed with the US will not go into effect if the Trump administration implements proposed tariffs on Chinese goods, according to multiple media reports.

The Chinese statement said the two sides made "positive and concrete progress", but neither side released details.

The United States and China have threatened tit-for-tat tariffs on goods worth up to $150 billion each.Xinhua said China's attitude has been consistent, which is that it is willing to increase imports from all countries, including the United States.

The warning came after delegations led by US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and China's top economic official Vice Premier Liu He wrapped up a meeting on Beijing's pledge to narrow its trade surplus.

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. But this time no joint statement was issued.

The planned United States sanctions on Beijing include restrictions on Chinese investment, export controls and 25 percent tariffs on $50 billion in Chinese tech goods.

"Our meetings so far have been friendly and frank, and covered some useful topics about specific export items", said Ross at the opening of Sunday's meeting.

China had agreed last month in Washington to "significantly increase" its purchases of us goods and services, Reuters reported.

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Following Beijing's announcement, US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the dispute was "on hold".

The purchases are partly aimed at shrinking the $375bn United States goods trade deficit with China.

Liu offered the U.S. team a "special welcome" to Beijing for the talks.

While U.S. officials have sent conflicting signals during the dispute with China, one person familiar with planning for Ross' visit said his aim was to keep dialogue going.

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

Mr 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.

On Saturday President Trump insisted on Twitter that the USA had been "ripped off by other countries for years on trade".

Trade analysts had warned the US' hand might be weakened by its decision to go ahead with tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Canada, Europe and Mexico. "If there are structural changes that allow our companies to compete fairly, by definition that will deal with the trade deficit alone", Mnuchin said Saturday, according to Bloomberg News.

China has also threatened to hit back with tit-for-tat tariffs on tens of billions of dollars in USA goods.

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