Published: Sat, June 02, 2018
Global Media | By Garry Long

White House Moves Ahead With Tough Trade Measures on China

White House Moves Ahead With Tough Trade Measures on China

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross is to visit Beijing this week to try and get China to agree to firm numbers for additional U.S. exports to the country.

The State Department noted these changes will go into effect starting on June 11.

Trump has faced a backlash among lawmakers this month after announcing he would soften USA sanctions on the Chinese telecoms equipment maker ZTE, which neared collapse due to an April ban on purchasing crucial U.S. components. The tariff threat is unlikely to derail ongoing talks, they said.

Pelosi said strong, smart and strategic action not reckless and rash floundering was needed to confront China's brazen trade cheating. "I don't think it blows up a deal with the Chinese". As it does so, China must bear three considerations in mind before responding to the United States.

A Chinese Ministry of Commerce spokesperson said (in Chinese), "We feel surprised, yet also not surprised...this clearly goes against the common understanding recently established in Washington".

Many experts and US companies, however, warn that China's efforts to protect its high-tech industries and capture USA technology represent the larger threat.

Trump administration officials last month proposed a ban on sales of crucial American technology to ZTE, a giant Chinese telecom company that employs 80,000 people. That would be on top of a $1 billion penalty ZTE paid for selling high-tech equipment to North Korea and Iran in violation of USA sanctions. In April, theCommerce Department bannedthe company from buying parts from USA suppliers for seven years, a punishment regarded as a virtual death sentence for ZTE.

In a statement Tuesday, a representative for the Chinese Ministry of Commerce took a subtle dig at Trump's constant back-and-forth on trade issues.

Malaysia says it will axe high-speed railway to Singapore
A Singapore transport ministry spokesman told AFP the government had "not yet received any official notification from Malaysia ". Mahathir, who was responding to a question about the ICJ challenge, said Malaysia had "already built structures" on Middle Rock.

Tariffs of 25 percent will be applied to Chinese imports containing advanced technologies, including those related to Beijing's made-in-China 2025 development program, the White House said. The list will be based on a previous compilation of 1,300 goods released in April that will be narrowed based on public comments the administration has received.

Investor Wilbur Ross was brought into the administration as one of President Donald Trump's "killers" - but in recent months, the commerce secretary has been increasingly marginalized, with his agency widely seen in the White House as a mess.

Mr Trump had already fuelled uncertainty over trade talks with China, after saying last week that any deal between Washington and Beijing would need "a different structure". "It could very well complicate Wilbur Ross's visit".

The Chinese government is urging President Donald Trump to return to the negotiating table after the White House announced that the U.S. would move forward with a crackdown on trade with China.

European companies also complain they are blocked from acquiring most assets in China while Chinese companies are on a global buying spree.

The fund's recommendations chime with the criticisms that the Trump administration has leveled at Beijing in the course of the current trade dispute.

The sudden policy shifts are amplifying an impression of unpredictability that the president believes gives him an edge at the bargaining table even as USA trading partners complain that it erodes American credibility. "De-escalation over time through negotiation remains our base case because we see areas where China and the United States can find some middle ground to make some mutually beneficial progress, for example to meet China's own demand for upgrading consumption".

"ZTE presents a national security threat to the United States - and nothing in this reported deal addresses that fundamental fact", said Sen.

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