China open to US trade talks on one condition

Daniel Fowler
May 23, 2019

The Trump administration unveiled a $16 billion aid package for farmers hurt by the ongoing trade war with China, the second such deal meant to help limit the losses from Chinese tariffs on American goods.

In a letter signed by 173 companies, including Nike and Adidas, they said the president's decision to hike import tariffs to 25 percent will disproportionately impact the working class. Based on last year's trade, that leaves about United States dollars 45 billion in imports from the US They include semiconductors and other critical inputs needed by fledgling Chinese tech industries.

Meanwhile, former CEO George Koo stressed that ending tariffs on the two U.S. neighbors might have little impact on the trade war with China because the situation will worsen anyway due to the Trump administration's actions.

USA lawmakers also moved Wednesday to provide about $700 million in grants to help US telecoms providers with the cost of removing Huawei equipment from their networks, and to block the use of equipment or services from Chinese telecoms firms Huawei and ZTE in next-generation 5G networks.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the dispute over Huawei could deepen.

"Growth of business activity slowed sharply in May as trade war worries and increased uncertainty dealt a further blow to order book growth and business confidence", IHS Markit said. The Dow Jones industrial average was down more than 400 points in mid-day trading.

Energy stocks led the way lower after the price of benchmark USA oil sank more than 5% to drop below $59 per barrel.

The US also accuses China of unfair trade practices such as forced technology transfers, intellectual property theft and favoring domestic firms over foreign companies. Technology and industrial stocks were also hit hard, as investors see their profits in particular getting hit in the crossfire of the global trade war.

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The spokesman said the United States needs to correct its wrong actions if it wants to continue negotiations with China, adding that talks should be based on mutual respect.

While China has not said whether or how it may retaliate against the measures targeting Huawei, state media have taken an increasingly strident and nationalistic tone and vowed Beijing will not bend to USA pressure.

"China is open to the door of dialogue, but sincerity is indispensable to make a consultation meaningful", Lu said at regularly scheduled briefing.

"It was a way to show Mr. Trump is a warrior of American interests, it portrayed Mexico and Canada as taking advantage of the United States", Wolff said, adding that the reality is that every White House administration for the last 200 years managed to have mutually beneficial relationships with its northern and southern neighbors.

However, the shoemakers and retailers say that while they have been moving their sourcing away from China: "Footwear is a very capital-intensive industry, with years of planning required to make sourcing decisions, and companies can not simply move factories to adjust to these changes".

USA arbitrary suppression with state power against Chinese science-and-technology firms out of political purposes has severely undermined scientific and technological development and cooperation worldwide, as well as impaired the interests of relevant countries' enterprises.

With the use of state power, Washington's groundless crackdown on Chinese private company Huawei is typical economic bullying, Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi told reporters here Wednesday.

That includes semiconductors and other critical inputs needed by fledgling Chinese tech industries. Fuming over Washington's latest tariff hike in an escalating trade battle, Beijing has an array of options for retaliating, from limiting exports of rare earths to disrupting operations of Apple and other American companies in China.

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