China Accuses Trump of Flip-Flop, Hurting Credibility

Arturo Kim
May 31, 2018

Washington will also press ahead with restrictions on investment by Chinese companies in the United States as well as export controls for goods exported to China, the statement from the White House said.

Such complaints have gained prominence amid USA pressure, backed by President Donald Trump's threat to hike tariffs on $150 billion of Chinese goods, for Beijing to narrow its multibillion-dollar trade surplus with the United States.

Days after a trade war between the two countries was averted, the United States on Tuesday announced 25 per cent tariff on Dollars 50 billion of tech goods imported from China, the White House said.

The Trump administration said Tuesday the tariffs would be finalised by June 15 despite a trade agreement reached between the two countries earlier this month.

U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping shake hands during a meeting in November.

"China urges the United States of meet us halfway with the spirit of our joint statement", the representative said. After Trump administration officials traveled to China at the start of the month, a Chinese delegation came to Washington two weeks later.

"If the bent on having its own way, we will surely take firm and forceful measures to safeguard our legitimate rights and interests.", said Hua Chunying of the Chinese foreign ministry.

Washington postponed its tariff threat in mid-May after Beijing promised to significantly increase its purchases of US farm goods and energy products, such as natural gas.

Last week, US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the Trump administration would stand down on imposing tariffs while the two sides continued negotiations to avoid a trade war.

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"We will counteract whatever comes our way, and if the USA insists on acting recklessly, China will inevitably adopt firm and forceful measures".

After Beijing promised to retaliate in kind to any duties, the president raised the ante to slap tariffs on an additional $100 billion in Chinese goods.

"The second thing is, the president has said we lost the trade war long ago", he said. The proposed investment restrictions will be published by June 30 and take effect at a later date. The US watchdog said the approvals, and other Trump family business connections to China, "raised potential ethics issues".

The rollback in the situation takes place just after China rejected US accusations on the alleged theft of technology transfer before the World Trade Organization (WTO), and prior to the third round of bilateral talks, scheduled from June 2-4 in this capital. The communist regime has also engaged in rampant intellectual property theft.

The China Daily newspaper said the repeated US claim that Beijing had forced foreign firms to transfer their technologies to Chinese businesses was without evidence and was being used as an excuse to facilitate its trade protectionism.

"Trump is going on [the] offense, reverting to his earlier instincts on China and re-empowering the trade hawks in his Cabinet", the analysts said.

The White House also pledged to continue a WTO case it started in March on accusations that China's intellectual property practices violate worldwide trade law.

The American Chamber of Commerce in China said companies are uneasy about the threat of export and investment controls but see them as a possible way to make progress on longstanding complaints about market access and investment curbs.

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