China says door open to US trade talks

China says door open to US trade talks

China says door open to US trade talks

Chinese and US teams, led by Chinese Vice Premier Liu He and US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, held economic and trade consultations in Beijing from June 2-3, said a statement. Ross said at the start of the event they had discussed specific American exports China might purchase, but the talks ended with no joint statement and neither side released details.

The negotiating process should be "based on the premise" of not fighting a "trade war", the statement said.

The talks focus on adding details to China's May 19 promise to narrow its politically volatile surplus in trade in goods with the United States, which reached a record $375.2 billion previous year.

China has promised to "significantly increase" purchases of farm goods, energy and other products and services.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who announced the tariff truce with China, said at the G7 summit in Canada that the United States was pushing for "structural changes" to the Chinese economy.

"Trump claims that he is seeking fairness and reciprocity in the U.S.' economic relationship with China, but so far he has sought to extort gains from China using the economic advantages the USA has", it said.

The Trump administration may soon fine ZTE as much as $1.7 billion as it looks to punish and tighten control over the firm before allowing it back into business, people familiar with the matter told Reuters. They said those political pressures mean the technology-related tariff hikes are likely to go ahead.

Some people familiar with the matter have told Reuters that approval may depend on progress of broader talks and a reprieve from a USA government ban on sales by United States companies to China's ZTE Corp, penalised for illegally supplying telecommunications gear to Iran and North Korea.

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The Beijing meetings came at the end of a turbulent week during which Trump fired the first shots in a global trade war by reviving plans to slap new tariffs on Chinese goods and hitting Canada, Mexico and the European Union with steep tariffs on metal imports. Tuesday's announcement gave no indication whether the other increases might also go ahead.

Earlier, China responded with a threat to retaliate with higher duties on a $50 billion list of American goods including soybeans, small aircraft, whiskey, electric vehicles and orange juice.

Private sector analysts say while Beijing is willing to compromise on its trade surplus, it will resist changes that might threaten plans to transform China into a global technology competitor. Liu's delegation included China's central bank governor and commerce minister.

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

Ross was scheduled to meet with Liu again on Sunday.

The move reflects growing American concern about China's status as a potential tech competitor and complaints Beijing improperly subsidizes its fledgling industries and shields them from competition.

They are particularly anxious about "Made in China 2025", a program which will pump hundreds of billions of dollars into high-tech industries like robotics and electric cars with the aim of making China a global leader.

The visit from the large United States delegation, with members from several executive branch agencies, came as fears of an all-out global trade war intensified after the European Union, Canada and Mexico drew up retaliatory measures to Washington's stinging steel and aluminium tariffs that went into effect on Friday.

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