Chinese media warns against bullying as USA trade team arrives

May 04, 2018, 09:57
Chinese media warns against bullying as USA trade team arrives

While he declined to give specifics, he said the US wants China to lower its tariffs rates to match USA levies, in a move that could boost exports of American goods to the world's No. 2 economy.

Mr. Trump has made China the focus of an economic policy that has also seen him court friction with major trading partners Canada, the European Union and Japan.

The foreign business community in China sees such reforms as long overdue and potentially too late: domestic competitors have used decades of being sheltered from foreign competition to establish dominant market positions at home while expanding overseas.

The president has long complained of what he says are unfair Chinese policies contributing to a huge US trade deficit.

Leading the talks for China will be Liu He, President Xi´s top economic advisor and a Vice Premier.

By mid-April, more than 1,200 companies across the United States had applied for waivers from the steel tariffs, the U.S. Commerce Department confirmed to The Washington Post, while 125 are requesting exemptions from the aluminum tariffs.

The drive is core to Xi's push to make China an advanced economy and less reliant on imports of key technologies from its industrial rivals.

Trump is seeking to cut the American trade deficit with China - totaling $375 billion (€313 billion) previous year - by $100 billion and gain concessions over policies that force foreign companies to share technology with Chinese partners.

The state-controlled Tsinghua Unigroup project, associated with Tsinghua University - China's equivalent of MIT - has emerged as a national champion.

It's unclear how successful those efforts will be as foreign regulators push back against Beijing's strategy of acquiring overseas chipmaking-related firms.

Most of the team gathered at a hotel in central Beijing Thursday before heading to the USA embassy and on to talks at China's state guest house.

Market leaders like Samsung, Intel and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing are investing aggressively as they fight for market share. "But if they are able to promise that they are willing to sit down and continue the dialogue and try and resolve their differences, at least that would signal that the relationship between the two governments is warming up". "The Samsungs of the world, the TSMCs have a large head start", said Alexander Wolf, an economist at Aberdeen Standard Investments.

Although it is hard to predict how the meetings will turn out, Liao Qun, chief economist at China CITIC Bank International, says it is a positive sign that both sides have a desire to sit down and negotiate. "You can't just solve one thing".

President Donald Trump has said on Twitter that he expects to maintain smooth relations with China.

"They're going to spend some time looking at the comments that have been received because while I think the administration has tried very hard to come up a tariff list that will hurt China more than the United States, I think a number of these comments will reveal that USA businesses with U.S. workers will be affected".

The U.S. delegation includes Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, White House economic advisers Peter Navarro, Larry Kudlow, Everett Eissenstat and ambassador Terry Branstad.

"Our great financial team is in China trying to negotiate a level playing field on trade!", Trump tweeted as his team arrived in Beijing.

In this regard, state media and several senior Chinese officials have been expressed in days leading up to meeting, which have called on USA delegation "a genuine intention to listen and speak". I look forward to being with President Xi in not too distant future. There were no public statements from either side afterward.

Experts have noted rival views within the United States delegation. It is also holding up approvals for multibillion-dollar takeover deals being pursued by USA firms including Qualcomm Inc. and Bain Capital. Therefore, the trip would produce few results and increased the risk that tariffs are adopted in the near future, it added.

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