China warns United States against tariffs as trade talks end

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross hints a trade war could be the result of new EU privacy laws given that the regulations include'unnecessary barriers to trade. If that happens it would be an additional front in a global trade war the President Donald Trum

China on Sunday threatened retaliation against the USA during a round of trade talks, saying that economic and trade deals negotiated by the two countries would become "void" should Washington impose new sanctions.

China has threatened to dash any trade agreements struck with the USA in recent weeks if President Donald Trump moves ahead with his threat to level tariff hikes against Chinese goods.

It says the two sides have made concrete progress on many areas but the details are left for final approval.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and Liu He, China's economic czar, led the weekend negotiations, after several days of talks by lower level officials.

It referred instead to a consensus they reached last month in Washington, when China agreed to increase significantly its purchases of USA goods and services.

He reiterated at the G7 President Donald Trump's aim to radically change the relationship between the White House and Beijing, including forced technology transfers in joint ventures.

Facebook has killed the hated Trending Topics bar
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Earlier, Mnuchin had pointed to a rocky road ahead for the United States, which is now embroiled in trade disputes on two fronts, after talking about Washington's China policy.

US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the dispute was "on hold" and the tariff hike would be postponed.

"China is willing to increase imports from other countries, including the United States, to satisfy the Chinese people's increasing consumption needs and the country's high-quality economic growth", the statement said.

He Weiwen, deputy director of the Centre for China and Globalisation and a former Commerce Ministry official in NY, said Beijing was prepared to take measures to narrow the trade gap but it was also prepared for a trade war. Although China does not export much steel or aluminum directly to the US due to trade sanctions already in place, it views the USA metals tariffs as a roundabout attack on its market power. That comes at the same time Trump has riled some of America's closest allies with the imposition of tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.

"The idea that we are somehow a national security threat to the United States is quite frankly insulting and unacceptable", he said.

Trump's announcement that he wanted to proceed with tariffs on China came less than two weeks after the two countries had said they were putting threats of tariffs on hold while they continued negotiating.

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Mnuchin, speaking at a G7 finance leaders meeting in Canada where he was the target of USA allies' anger over steel and aluminum tariffs, said the China talks would cover other issues, including the Trump administration's desire to eliminate Chinese joint venture requirements and other policies that effectively force technology transfers.

"Our meetings so far have been friendly and frank, and covered some useful topics about specific export items", said Ross at the opening of Sunday's meeting.

Mnuchin had said on Saturday the U.S. wanted China to agree to structural change to its economy.

The warning came after the latest round of trade talks ended inconclusively in Beijing. He also pushed back against the argument that Canadian steel poses a USA security threat.

French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire compared Washington's action to something out of the old "Wild West".

Other officials and technical experts from the Department of Commerce, Department of Treasury, United States Trade Representative, Department of Agriculture, and Department of Energy also took part, the White House said.

European leaders plan to hit back against Trump's steel and aluminum tariffs
But if there are no exemptions, she said , "We will respond in an intelligent, decisive and joint way", Merkel said in Lisbon. The U.S. said the exemptions granted Canada and Mexico were linked to the ongoing NAFTA negotiations.

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