Trump's on again, off again strategy on China may backfire

White House Moves Ahead With Tough Trade Measures on China

Trump Moves Ahead With Tariffs and Other Trade Sanctions Against China

China's Ministry of Commerce (MOC) said Tuesday that the USA statement is contrary to the consensuses the two sides have previously reached in Washington.

"The final list of covered imports will be announced by June 15, 2018, and tariffs will be imposed on those imports shortly thereafter", the administration said in a statement. "Moving forward with tariffs on goods imported from China will harm US consumers and businesses, and will fail to change China's discriminatory and damaging trade practices".

China pressed the U.S.to give ZTE a break after the Commerce Department cut off the company from USA suppliers to punish it for allegedly lying to American officials in a sanctions case.

As a result, the White House released a list in early April of $50 billion worth of products it would target with tariffs.

In addition, the Trump administration said trade talks with China will continue, and it will request China remove all of its many trade barriers, including non-monetary trade barriers, and that tariffs and taxes between the two countries be "reciprocal in nature and value".

"Congressman Matt Gaetz commended Trump for taking action against China's ruthless and unfair trade practices, as well as its state-sponsored theft of American innovators" intellectual property (IP).

The White House also says the U.S. is planning new investment restrictions and export controls.

"We're putting the trade war on hold", Mnuchin said at the close of those meetings on May 20.

With Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross heading to China this weekend for the next round of negotiations, there is some doubt about the administration's ultimate objective: Is it trying to change the nature of China's economic system, or does it simply want to improve the trade balance between the two countries?

State news agency Xinhua said China hoped that the United States would not act impulsively but stood ready to fight to protect its own interests.

But when Trump subsequently said he would ease penalties against ZTE in order to save Chinese jobs, this drew a sharp backlash from his supporters.

The trade escalation came after the two sides had agreed during talks in Washington this month to find steps to narrow China's $375 billion trade surplus.

Speaking at a regular press briefing on Wednesday, foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying slammed the latest development. The United States will also continue to pursue litigation against China at the World Trade Organization. The two countries had recently announced they had reached a framework for a trade deal that would involve China buying more agricultural and energy commodities and opening its market up to US investment.

China retaliated by imposing additional tariffs worth about $3 billion on 128 American products.

The China Daily newspaper said the repeated USA claim that Beijing had forced foreign firms to transfer their technologies to Chinese businesses was without evidence and was being used as an excuse to facilitate its trade protectionism.

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