China says U.S. tariffs must be lifted for a trade deal

Marco Green
July 5, 2019

Flags of USA and China are displayed at American International Chamber of Commerce (AICC)'s booth during China International Fair for Trade in Services in Beijing, China, May 28, 2019.

Trade teams from both countries are in contact, commerce ministry spokesman Gao Feng told a regular media briefing.

"Those talks will continue in earnest this coming week, actually", said Larry Kudlow, National Economic Council director.

Mr. Kudlow was unclear about the timeline for relaunching face-to-face talks.

"I don't know precisely when".

"The US tariff hike on Chinese products was the trigger for bilateral trade frictions, so all the additional tariffs imposed since [the beginning of the trade war in July 2018] must be scrapped once there is a deal", Gao said as quoted by the South China Morning Post. "They're going to be on the phone this coming week and they'll be scheduling face-to-face meetings", he said. Ahead of last week's G20 meeting, President Trump threatened to slap tariffs on the estimated $300 billion in Chinese goods not yet affected by the tariff war.

The countries have exchanged tariffs on $360 billion in two-way trade and negotiations broke down in May after the United States accused China of reneging on its commitments.

Along with the import duties, the U.S. has resorted to blacklisting Chinese tech giant Huawei, accusing the company of installing "backdoor" access in its devices to help Chinese intelligence services spy on users worldwide. If so, China will commit to buying the agricultural goods.

The Chinese leader, however, failed to win relief from existing sanctions on $250 billion in goods - which it countered by placing punitive tariffs on $110 billion in American products.

Referring to concessions made by the United States to China on telecommunications giant Huawei, Kudlow characterized the adjustment as one of having "slightly opened up the general merchandise applications for export licenses - not national security".

Trump surprised markets on Saturday with an announcement that USA companies would be allowed to sell products to Huawei, which was placed on a so-called Entity List in May over national security concerns.

But industry and government officials are uncertain what the new policy will be.

Trump barred Huawei from USA networks on grounds of national security.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and may not reflect those of Kitco Metals Inc.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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