26 Sep 2018
Can't hold US trade-talks with knife to the throat: China
China said it's impossible to hold trade talks with the US while Washington is imposing tariffs that are like "holding a knife to someone's throat".
Speaking a day after the US activated tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods, Vice Commerce Minister Wang Shouwen yesterday said China is open to negotiations but the two sides must treat each other "equally and with respect".
Trump's latest warnings have quashed the efforts of new talks
US Treasury Secretary, Steven Mnuchin, had invited China to hold new talks, but Trump's latest warnings that another $267bn of goods are next, scuttled that effort.
Wang had met US officials in August but there have been no high-level meetings between the two for months.
Wang blamed America for abandoning a consensus on trade, struck in May, but was followed by new US tariffs.
Chinese officials held press conference over new white paper
High-ranking officials from several Chinese government agencies held a press conference yesterday as Beijing had rolled out a new white paper on Monday, claiming to set the record straight on trade-related facts.
According to the white paper published by China's cabinet, the State Council, the country's exports to the US accounted for 19% of all its overseas shipments last year.
China dismisses allegations of unfair competitive practices
Fu Ziying, another Vice Minister of Commerce, noted that some in the US accuse China of engaging in unfair competitive practices, causing the huge trade deficit between the two countries.
"This is totally devoid of fact, groundless, and totally misleading," he said, adding that American firms sold $700 billion worth of goods in China each year, earning more than $500 billion in profit.
Trade war escalated after US levied two rounds of tariffs
The trade fight between the top two economic giants has steadily escalated through the summer, as the US levied two waves of new tariffs that have now hit about $250bn worth of goods, roughly half of China's exports to the United States.
China has struck back with each step, hitting $110bn worth of US goods, or nearly everything China buys from the US.
Experts predict trade war will harm both countries
Experts have warned the snowballing trade spat between the United States and China will harm both the countries' economies and even global growth, with Fitch Ratings cutting its growth estimates for China and the world for 2019.
Meanwhile, officials in China said they planned to step-up support for harmed industries and companies as they seek to offset the effects of the trade war.
European, American firms already pulling supply chains out of China
Some European and American firms have already started shifting supply chains out of China, or put new investments on hold, according to industry group surveys, a potential problem for Beijing as economic growth sags.
Foreign firms said the latest round of US tariffs, hitting a wide swathe of products including electronics and furniture, would worsen their problems, according to the surveys.
China will reduce taxes and burden for companies affected
"We will actively take all types of measures to help companies resolve their difficulties," said Luo Wen, Vice Minister of Industry and Information Technology. China will "earnestly reduce taxes and burdens for companies and strive to optimize the business environment," he added.