Published: Sat, April 14, 2018
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

China vows to fight back if U.S. escalates trade spat

China vows to fight back if U.S. escalates trade spat

"But I don't think demand is going to increase substantially". "They understand that they're doing this for the country".

"We will make great progress together", Trump added.

U.S. President Donald Trump departs after giving remarks during an event in the White House Rose Garden in Washington, U.S., April 12, 2018. Trump is demanding Beijing take steps to narrow its trade deficit with the USA, which Washington says stood at a record $375.2 billion past year.

China's Commerce Ministry said on Thursday that Beijing was ready to strike back if the United States presses on with its economic nationalist agenda.

"Up to now, China and the U.S. have not carried out negotiations at any level on the trade frictions". Since December 2016, Beijing also has charged an additional 10 per cent on "super-luxury" vehicles priced above 1.3 million yuan ($200,000). The fresh sign of detente could further soothe fears that the tit-for-tat exchange of threats of new punitive tariffs on agricultural and manufactured goods could boil over into an all-out trade war, damaging the global economy.

Evan Medeiros, former US National Security Council director for Asia, noted it was "not a new commitment and will not dramatically change the fortunes of US auto companies". The White House had no comment on specifics of the discussions, but an administration official said China should change its behavior and take action to change the trajectory of its trading relationship with the U.S.

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China has repeatedly pledged that it would open up sectors such as financial services, including promises to the Trump administration previous year that it would give "full and prompt market access" to U.S. payment network operators.

Trump's proposed tariff hike was a response to complaints Beijing steals or pressures foreign companies to hand over technology.

China's Global Times tabloid wrote in a commentary that Washington could either respond sincerely to China's determination to conduct interactions showing good will with the USA or keep pressuring China with unreasonable demands and escalate trade frictions.

Beijing's announcement triggered heavy selling in global financial markets, with United States stock futures sliding 1.5% and U.S. soybean futures plunging almost 5% and on track for their biggest fall since July 2016.

National Australian Bank senior forex strategist Rodrigo Catril said the speech had done a good job of soothing market concerns over trade.

Meanwhile, China hopes foreign governments will also improve protection of Chinese IPR, the president said.

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Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said on CBS' "Face the Nation" that he didn't expect the tariffs to have a "meaningful impact on the economy" even as he left the door open for disruption.

"This trade conflict was initiated by the US alone and it is entirely the one to blame", he said.

Trump's latest proposal intensified what was already shaping up to be the biggest trade battle in more than a half century.

He said China would continue to open its markets and implement lower tariffs pledged by Xi as soon as possible. Unlike a tariff, the revenue generated, going to USA exporters, would serve to promote our sales to the Middle Kingdom.

Further escalation could be in the offing. But business groups from outside China argue that joint venture and licensing rules make coerced transfers of technology unavoidable.

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