Trump to meet advisers on China tariffs as Beijing urges talks

Cornelia Mascio
Giugno 15, 2018

Trump is due to unveil revisions to his initial tariff list targeting $50 billion of Chinese goods on Friday.

Beijing has promised to buy more American soybeans, natural gas and other exports but warned after June 3 talks between U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and China's top economic official, Vice Premier Liu He, that all deals were off if Trump's threatened tariffs went ahead.

If Washington implements tariffs, Beijing is expected to hit back with its own duties on USA imports including soybeans, cars, chemicals and planes, according to a list it released in early April.

Agriculture producers and related industries dependent on exports to China are turning to Congress for help as the Trump administration prepares to levy trade tariffs on China.

The tariffs, which Trump set in motion in March, are a response to China's practice of compulsory technology licensing for foreign companies and its efforts to steal US trade secrets via cybertheft, administration officials have said. "If there are not tariffs, it will be because the president has decided that he's not ready to implement tariffs", said a person familiar with the matter. The administration emerged from a summit between Trump and dictator Kim Jong Un optimistic about the prospect of denuclearization.

Trump told Fox News in an interview aired on Wednesday that he was "very strongly clamping down on trade" with China.

Administration officials have cautioned that Mr Trump has the final say.

"I think it's very likely we will see tariffs".

"He ran on Making America Great Again and to put America first and he's doing just what he said, so we shouldn't be surprised at that", she said.

Chinese officials have said they would drop agreements reached last month to buy more United States soybeans, natural gas and other products.

Beijing has said it would retaliate if the US imposes tariffs. But he also said Beijing has not done an adequate job closing its border to trade with North Korea in recent months, which Trump seemed to blame for rising U.S.

China also has threatened to retaliate with its own tariff hikes on $50 billion of USA exports including pork and soybeans, though authorities avoided renewing that threat following the latest round of talks. The round of tariffs could make China reluctant to cooperate with the US on North Korea.

The possible reduction of US military in the region has been a policy goal in China for years, especially in light of former US President Barack Obama's pivot to Asia, which was interpreted in Beijing as a means of containing the country's rise.

The administration's trade hawks, including U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and White House trade and manufacturing adviser Peter Navarro, have advocated a tougher approach to address U.S. allegations that China has misappropriated American intellectual property through joint venture requirements, state-backed acquisitions of U.S. technology firms and outright theft.

Amid the rising trade tension, China's Commerce Ministry spokesman Gao Feng said Chinese exporters have been front-loading their shipments due to changes in the worldwide trade environment.

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