China won’t hold trade talks unless Trump stops threats

Posted September 25, 2018

As the Trump administration escalated the ongoing trade conflict, government officials from Beijing on Monday accused the White House of engaging in "trade bullyism" to intimidate other countries into submission, as reported by Reuters.

The US has "made a series of false accusations, and used increasing tariffs and other means of economic intimidation, to try to impose its own interests on China by way of extreme pressure", the State Council (cabinet) said in a white paper on trade and economic tensions with Washington.

The charges came in a white paper published by China's cabinet, the State Council, and claimed the U.S. had turned toward "unilateralism, protectionism and economic hegemonism" as Trump pursues his "America First" agenda.

Beijing and Washington are locked in a festering trade war with both sides hitting each other's goods with tariffs worth billions. "For the U.S.to go to war with China over trade is for the U.S.to enter a war that it can not win".

The latest round of USA duties took effect just after midnight Washington time on Monday (midday in Beijing) on a list of products ranging from frozen meat to television components.

Trump threatened last week to add $267 billion in Chinese imports to the target list if Beijing retaliated for the latest USA taxes.

The US official said on Friday there was no date set for the next round of talks.

China summoned the United States ambassador in Beijing and postponed joint military talks in protest against a U.S. decision to sanction a Chinese military agency and its director for buying Russian fighter jets and a surface-to-air missile system. "We remain open to continuing discussions with China, but China must meaningfully engage on the unfair trading practices".

"NO END IN SIGHT FOR TRADE WAR" Several rounds of China-US trade talks in recent months have yielded no major breakthroughs and attempts at arranging another meeting in coming weeks have fallen through.

Analysts believe that China may be waiting for U.S. mid-term elections early next month for any hints of changes in Washington's policy stance.

McDonald's No.2 market is China, Starbucks has 34 locations in China, wanting to go to 7,000.

"With generic polls favoring the Democrats, they may feel that the trade environment may be less hostile after November 6", said ING's chief Asia economist, Rob Carnell.

"The Trump administration must get its position straight though - what does it want from China, and who is empowered as a negotiator by President Trump to bring the deal home?" China's customs agency said it responded at noon by beginning to collect taxes of 5 or 10 per cent on a $60 billion list of 5,207 American goods, from honey to industrial chemicals.

The new restrictive measures against China would also result in an inflation rise in the US, Goldman warns. Some analysts say there is also a risk that China could allow its currency to weaken again to cushion the blow to its exporters.