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New US tariffs won’t solve trade dispute, says China

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Bangkok, Aug 2 (IANS) Reacting to US President Donald Trump’s announcement to impose a fresh 10 per cent tariff on another $300 billion of Chinese goods, China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Friday that the move won’t solve the ongoing trade spat between the two of the world’s largest economies.

"Adding tariffs is definitely not a constructive way to resolve economic and trade frictions, it’s not the correct way," Wang said on the sidelines of an Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) meeting in the Thai capital.

In a series of tweets on Thursday, Trump announced: "Our representatives have just returned from China where they had constructive talks having to do with a future Trade Deal. We thought we had a deal with China three months ago, but sadly, China decided to re-negotiate the deal prior to signing," Efe news reported

"Trade talks are continuing, and during the talks the US will start, on September 1, putting a small additional tariff of 10 per cent on the remaining $300 billion of goods and products coming from China into our Country. This does not include the $250 billion already tariffed at 25 per cent," he added.

The new tariffs will effectively tax all Chinese imports to the US. The duty is likely target a wide range of goods, from smartphones to clothing.

The announcement comes after a team led by US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin spent Tuesday and Wednesday negotiating in Shanghai with a high-level Chinese delegation headed by Vice Premier Liu He.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who is also in Bangkok for the ASEAN gathering, justified the move and criticized Beijing for allegedly backing out of a deal reached in principle between the negotiators.

The recent round of interactions in Shanghai was the first high-level contact between the two sides since Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed to a temporary truce in their trade war at the G20 summit in June.

Trump had announced that the US will stop imposing new tariffs and agreed to allow the sale of tech firm Huawei’s products in the US.

Over the past year, China and the US have imposed tariffs on billions of dollars of one another’s goods.

In May, Trump increased from 10 per cent to 25 per cent a tariff on Chinese imports worth $200 billion. China retaliated by slapping tariffs on US imports worth $60 billion.

Trump later threatened to impose tariffs of up to 25 per cent on another $325 billion of Chinese imports, causing concern in financial markets and the business community due to the possible effect on consumer spending, which accounts for about two-thirds of the US economic activity.

 

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