The trade dispute between the United States and China would not be solved by the hardline trade war stance that has been taken by Washington, said China’s commerce ministry on Thursday. The ministry expressed its displeasure with comments from US President Donald Trump and US Treasury Steven Mnuchin which who said that there is no hurry for the US to hold talks with China
“These so-called hard lines against China are not effective, they will not solve the problems”, said Gao Feng, a spokesman for the Ministry of Commerce, at a regularly scheduled press conference while responding to a question on the latest status in Washington’s stance.
“Unilateral trade protectionism is not the way to go,” Gao said, adding that China hopes to find a “trusting, fair and practical basis” with the US to address trade disputes.
It was “not the right time to talk” to China in relation to resolving the current trade spat with China, Trump said earlier this week. “They want to talk,” Trump said, in reference to Chinese officials. “It’s just not the right time to talk right now, to be honest with China.”
Later next day Mnuchin said that until the trade issues with Mexico, Canada and Europe are resolved, it is unlikely that there would be any talks with China.
“We’ve put [Washington’s foreign trade objectives] in three categories: the first was really [the North American Free Trade Agreement, or Nafta]; the second is dealing with the EU, which we are making progress on; and the third is China,” Mnuchin said in an interview with a television news channel.
There has bene very little progress to bring an end to the escalating trade dispute between the two largest economies of the world.
The mid-level trade delegation meeting of both countries that took p[lace in Washington last week yielded no definitive results. The delegations were headed by Chinese vice-minister of commerce Wang Shouwen and the US Treasury’s undersecretary of international affairs, David Malpass.
China and the US agreed to “keep in touch in the next stage” was as much that Gao could say about that meeting.
And the trade spat escalated last week after tit-for-tat tariffs were imposed by the US and China on each other’s goods worth $16 billion form each side. US had imposed tariffs on Chinese imports into the US worth $34 billion on July 6. China retaliated with import tariffs on US goods of the same value.
The US president Donald Trump has even gone ot the extent to state hat he is not averse of imposing import tariffs on the entire $500 billion of Chinese goods imported into the US annually.
An examination and a public hearing on the possibility of imposing a third round of tariffs on Chinese goods worth $200 billion was completed by the US Commerce Department which is expected to be implemented in September.
“More than 90 per cent of companies in the US and China were against the proposed tariffs” which showed that they were very unpopular, Gao said about the hearing. China “hopes the US will respect the views from both Chinese and US firms and the interests of consumers”, he added.
“Whatever decisions the US makes, China will continue on its own path of steadily pushing for reforms,” he said, repeating China’s official line.
(Adapted from SCMP.com)