US Commerce Secretary in Beijing for talks to avoid trade war

Vastavam web: US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross arrived in Beijing today for talks aiming to ease tensions over tariffs that have heightened fears of a trade war between the world’s two biggest economies, Chinese state media said.Despite announcing a truce earlier this month, the United States is working to finalise planned sanctions on Beijing — including restrictions on Chinese investment, export controls and 25 percent tariffs on USD 50 billion in Chinese tech goods.

China has threatened to hit back with tit-for-tat tariffs on tens of billions of dollars in US goods.Canada and Mexico drew up retaliatory measures to Washington’s stinging steel and aluminium tariffs that came into effect yesterday.US President Donald Trump first announced trade sanctions on China, largely focused on the Asian giant’s theft of US intellectual property, in March.

Beijing on Wednesday lambasted “sudden flip-flops” in US policy after the Trump administration said it would still move to impose the sanctions against it — just over a week after announcing a truce.The US and China “should adopt a sincere attitude and follow the spirit of equality and mutual respect to seek a win-win solution through dialogue and consultation”, she added.

The final list of Chinese imports covered by the US tariffs list will be announced June 15 and imposed shortly thereafter, while the proposed investment restrictions and enhanced export controls will be announced by June 30, according to the White House.Trump has accused China of forcing American firms to hand over their industrial secrets to Chinese companies in order to do business in the country, a charge that Beijing has rejected.Zhu Feng, a professor of international relations at Nanjing University, told AFP he was “not very optimistic” about the outcome of the latest trade negotiations.