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The trade war was never on hold, claims White House trade adviser

04 June 2018
The trade war was never on hold, claims White House trade adviser

And the tariffs were suspended after China agreed to "substantially reduce" its trade surplus with America by buying more US products.

In an unexpected change in tone, the United States said on Tuesday that it still held the threat of imposing tariffs on $50 billion of imports from China unless it addressed the issue of theft of American intellectual property.

A foreign ministry spokeswoman complained the US decision to renew a threat to raise duties on a $50 billion list of Chinese goods conflicts with an agreement in mid-May aimed at settling that dispute. China "will carefully evaluate the United States measures and reserves the right to take corresponding measures", Gao said.

"Over the next few days, the USA delegation of more than 50 people will discuss with China's team on implementing a consensus", China's Commerce Ministry said in a statement. More imports and tariffs will also be announced at a later date.

The Pentagon has also banned ZTE products from being sold on USA military bases along with phones made by Huawei, another Chinese firm.

But the categories the Chinese Finance Ministry selected for tariff cuts cover few U.S. goods and appeared to be targeted at China's goal of developing sophisticated industries rather than low-value mass manufacturing.

Another round of trade talks between the USA and China will resume this weekend.

William Zarit, chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce in China, said the U.S. threat of tariffs appeared to have been "somewhat effective".

First announced in March, the tariff threat drew an in-kind response from China - primarily targeting agricultural goods, including soybeans, corn, wheat, sorghum, cotton and beef.

In the latest blow from the country that is supposed to be their closest friend, the EU, Canada and Mexico found themselves hit yesterday by punishing USA tariffs on steel aluminium imports.

Furthermore, the person said, the U.S.is expected to count US$361 million in civil penalties that ZTE paid the Commerce Department a year ago in its US$1.7 billion figure, even though that penalty was already collected as part of the US$892 million.

China is happy to see political stability in Italy, the Chinese foreign ministry said on Friday, after a coalition deal removed the risk of a repeat vote and ended months of uncertainty that rocked Italian financial markets.

Seeking leverage, Trump's administration launched an investigation into whether tariffs might be necessary on vehicle imports, based on national security concerns.

Observers say any visa restrictions on high tech field education could hurt China's big push into high tech manufacturing including robotics and artificial intelligence.