China warns USA no deal if tariffs go ahead

GETTY Wilbur Ross said that the rules will make EU  US trade difficult

GETTY Wilbur Ross said that the rules will make EU US trade difficult

U.S. Commerce Secretary Ross, second from left, is in Beijing for trade talks after Washington ratcheted up tensions with a new threat of tariff hikes on Chinese high-tech exports.

As the trade dispute threatened to blow up into a full scale "war", US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin came under fire from the European Union at the Group of Seven, or G7, meeting of finance leaders in the Canadian ski resort of Whistler.

"All economic and trade outcomes of the talks will not take effect if the USA side imposes any trade sanctions including raising tariffs", the statement said.

While many countries share US frustration with Chinese trade and economic practices, critics of USA policy under Trump have warned that Washington risks alienating the European Union, Canada and Mexico with 25 percent tariffs on steel and 10 percent on aluminum.

U.S. commerce secretary Wilbur Ross, left, with Chinese vice premier Liu He after their meeting at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing, China on Sunday.

The Trump Administration said Tuesday that the USA would follow through with tariffs on billions of dollars of Chinese imports, defying a trade truce reached last month in Washington.

China said commitments to buy more American goods would not happen if President Donald Trump carried through on plans revised last week for $50 billion in tariffs on Chinese products.

The White House has said it would announce a final list of Chinese imports covered by the USA tariffs on June 15, with the other measures to follow later this month. But the truce appeared to end with this week's announcement Washington was going ahead with tariff increases on technology goods and would also impose curbs on Chinese investment and purchases of United States hi-tech exports.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who announced the tariff truce with China, said at the G7 summit in Canada that the United States was pushing for "structural changes" to the Chinese economy.

China has threatened to hit back with tit-for-tat tariffs on tens of billions of dollars in United States goods.

China said Sunday that trade progress with the United States in trade would be wiped out if tariffs are imposed.

There was no immediate comment or statement from the U.S. delegation or from Ross himself. Liu's delegation included China's central bank governor and commerce minister.

"Our meetings so far have been friendly and frank, and covered some useful topics about specific export items", Ross said.

Ross and the large American delegation had dinner Saturday evening with their Chinese hosts.

There was no indication whether the talks also would take up American complaints that Beijing steals or pressures foreign companies.

Trade analysts warned Ross' hand might be weakened by the Trump administration's decision on Thursday to go ahead with tariffs on steel and aluminium imports from Canada, Europe and Mexico.

That might alienate allies who share complaints about Chinese technology policy and a flood of low-cost steel, aluminum and other exports they say are the result of improper subsidies and hurt foreign competitors.

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