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

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

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

BEIJING-U.S. and Chinese negotiators wrapped up their latest round of trade talks without a settlement, with Beijing saying it won't abide by any deal if Washington goes ahead with threatened tariffs.

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.

"The outcome of the talks should be based on the prerequisite that the two parties meet each other halfway and will not engage in a trade war", according to the statement carried by Xinhua, China's official news agency.

The warning came following a meeting between US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He in Beijing.

The Trump Administration said Tuesday that the United States would follow through with tariffs on billions of dollars of Chinese imports, defying a trade truce reached last month in Washington.

After it had appeared a trade truce between the two economic heavyweights was on the cards, the White House this week warned it would continue to pursue tariffs on $50 billion worth of Chinese imports, as well as impose restrictions on Chinese investments in the United States and tighter export controls.

The renewed push for Chinese tariffs coincides with Washington's announcement last week that it would implement duties on steel and aluminum for other key allies. It said the White House also would impose curbs on Chinese investment and purchases of United States high-tech goods and on visas for Chinese students.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Saturday the USA wants to see "structural changes" in the Chinese economy.

The two governments released no schedule for the talks, but China said earlier Ross was due to be in Beijing through to Monday.

Ross, who was preceded in Beijing last week by more than 50 U.S. officials, is expected during the two-day visit to try to secure long-term purchases of USA farm and energy commodities to help shrink the United States trade deficit.

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

"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.

Beijing has resisted U.S. pressure to commit to a firm target of narrowing its annual surplus with the United States by $US200 billion ($264 billion).

Ross had a working dinner Saturday evening with Liu, also at the same guesthouse in Beijing.

The US pressure over technology policy reflects growing American concern about China's status as a potential competitor and complaints Beijing improperly subsidises its fledgling industries and shields them from competition.

All non-U.S. Group of Seven finance ministers expressed "disappointment" over Trump's decision to slap tariffs on steel and aluminum on Canada, the European Union and Mexico.

Trump also has threatened to raise tariffs on an additional $100 billion of Chinese goods, but gave no indication this week whether that would go ahead.

That might alienate allies who share complaints about Chinese technology policy and a flood of low-cost steel, aluminium and other exports they say are the result of improper subsidies and hurt foreign competitors.

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