China says Washington asks to resume talks on tariff fight

Lloyd Doyle
September 14, 2018

So far, the United States and China have hit $50 billion worth of each others' goods with tariffs in a dispute over US demands that China make sweeping economic policy changes, including ending joint venture and technology transfer policies, rolling back industrial subsidy programs and better protecting American intellectual property.

Just six percent, meanwhile, said they would consider moving factories to USA soil.

The coalition posted a searchable map linking users to stories from farmers and businesses saying they're harmed by tariffs.

The Trump administration has reached out to China for a new round of trade talks as it prepares to activate punitive USA tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods, two people familiar with the matter said Wednesday. The White House is pushing tariffs as a powerful negotiating tool for winning what it says are better trade deals for all Americans.

The possibility of new talks comes as China is wary of the "very painful" impact of additional U.S. tariffs given its economic slowdown, with its gross domestic product at the lower end of its growth range for the past three years.

Larry Kudlow, who heads the White House Economic Council, told Fox Business Network that US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin had sent an invitation to senior Chinese officials, but he declined to provide further details.

Some 63.6 percent of more than 430 companies that responded to the American chambers' survey said profits and customer demand have fallen due to the USA tariffs and 62.5 percent said the same about retaliatory Chinese tariffs.

But he cautioned: "I guarantee nothing".

In addition to retaliatory tariffs, companies report China is slowing down customs clearances and stepping up inspections and other bureaucratic processes, the chambers said.


Envoys from the two countries last met August 22 in Washington but reported no progress.

A U.S. Treasury spokesman did not respond to requests for comment.

AmCham China and AmCham Shanghai urged the Trump administration to re-think its approach.

A day earlier, more than 60 USA industry groups launched a coalition - Americans for Free Trade - to take the fight against the tariffs public.

Christopher McNally, an adjunct senior fellow at the East-West Centre in Hawaii, said the Trump administration may seek a deal on the trade war before the elections, though he cautioned that the U.S. president could easily throw out any negotiated settlement if he felt it did not "help him politically or doesn't go far enough, doesn't make him look good enough". "I don't see the Chinese running to the table to up their offer in any appreciable way". A meeting among Cabinet-level officials could ease market worries over the escalating tariff war that threatens to engulf all trade between the world's two largest economies and raise costs for companies and consumers.

Talk might be cheap, but it is certainly better than another round of multi-billion-dollar tit-for-tat tariffs between the United States and China.

USA companies are particularly anxious about the "qualitative measures" Beijing has threatened to take as it becomes unable to respond to tariffs dollar-for-dollar - United States goods imports past year totalled only US$130 billion.

He also made it clear he was ready to impose tariffs worth $200 billion on goods "very soon" if President Xin Jinping's government refused to back down.

It's unclear yet what specific sectors have been affected by the suspension, but it will likely include industries that Beijing has promised to open to foreign businesses, such as banking, securities, insurance and asset management, said Jacob Parker, vice-president for China operations of the USCBC.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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