China, France Agree To Expand Trade, EU Raises "Difficult Issues"

28 June, 2018, 02:11 | Author: Regina Lloyd
  • The Chinese flag and the US Stars and Stripes fly on a lamp post along Pennsylvania Avenue near the US Capitol. Reuters  File

That triggered threats of further tariffs on European cars from Trump.

France has struck a deal that has seen its beef industry move closer to shipping beef to China two decades after Beijing slapped an embargo on imports from the European country amid concerns over mad-cow disease. "Both sides should learn to be good listeners", state-run tabloid The Global Times wrote in an editorial.

Companies likely to feel the impact of recent US tariffs on imported steel which raise costs for manufacturers, and the countermeasures by China which may hit USA exports, include heavy machinery maker Caterpillar and aircraft maker Boeing.

Spooked by Washington's aggressive stance, Chinese officials have in recent weeks downplayed the likely impact of the Made in China 2025 strategy. Beijing is also suspicious of US intentions toward self-governing and democratic Taiwan, which is armed by the United States, though China views the island as a sacred part of its territory.

Both also agreed to uphold the global trading system under the WTO, which Trump has described as "unfair" and "bad.to the USA".

Trump infuriated United States allies-from the European Union to Canada and Mexico-last month by imposing tariffs of 25 percent on imported steel and 10 percent on aluminum.

Treasury's move is part of the Trump administration's actions taken under Section 301 to respond to China's alleged theft of USA intellectual property and follows rounds of tit-for-tat tariff threats between the two largest economies. Xi's top economic lieutenant has traveled to Washington, D.C. twice and even offered to buy $200 billion more American products annually. "They must play fair or they will pay tariffs!" he tweeted.

The U.S. defense chief will first visit China from Tuesday to Thursday to discuss regional issues with Chinese officials.




Still, investors fear Trump's China trade fight could hurt the U.S. economy, setting off a series of escalating retaliatory moves by both sides.

"I'm not naive. I don't expect fast delivery on all fronts but first you have to decide whether you are in favor of unilateralism or multilateralism".

"We need more than just talk, we need to demonstrate adherence to worldwide trading rules", said Katainen, proposing reforms to develop new rules for a "global level playing field" in key areas such as "industrial subsidies".

United States overtures towards Taiwan, from unveiling a new de facto embassy to passing the Taiwan Travel Act, which encourages US officials to visit, have further escalated tension between Beijing and Taipei.

This comes as Defense Secretary James Mattis visits China in an effort to discuss security with Beijing.

Eurasia Group's Triolo cited China's huge domestic market, a number of great Chinese tech companies, and its education system - which is pumping out three times more industrial technology graduates than the United States - as reasons for China eventually rivaling the US. The forthcoming restrictions would apply "to all countries that are trying to steal our technology", he said.

While the measures to protect America's "crown jewels", may help slow down China's advance, Triolo and Zenglein doubt whether it can be halted altogether, due to the billions of dollars being spent by the Beijing government to realize its ambitions.

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