Xi vows to further open China economy as USA trade spat simmers

CC BY-SA 2.0

CC BY-SA 2.0

USA companies have long argued that China uses a range of tactics to force them to transfer intellectual property such as industrial designs and patents, and that Chinese entities engage in widespread theft of US trade secrets.

BEIJING-The brewing China-U.S. trade conflict features two leaders who've expressed friendship but are equally determined to pursue their nation's interests and their own political agendas.

Beijing was quick to respond with its own list, and President Donald Trump subsequently announced he asked the US Trade Representative to consider US$100 billion in additional tariffs against China.

China said on Wednesday it would allow foreign investors greater access to its stock markets and promised that other previously announced financial reforms would come into effect within months in its latest conciliatory signals amid U.S. trade tensions.

The dust-up suggests that the trade dispute won't be resolved quickly, despite Trump's optimistic tweets and Xi's conciliatory address to a regional economic forum Tuesday.

The sides recently seemed to indicate talks were possible, but the uncertainty remains.

Chinese investment in the United States fell more than a third previous year to $29 billion from a record $46 billion in 2016, the first major correction in a decade, a report by the Rhodium Group and the National Committee on U.S. The tariffs proposal is still in a 60-day period for public input and the U.S. Treasury is preparing recommended curbs on Chinese investment due by late May.

"We want to see more than just the rhetoric", she added, and until that happens the planned tariffs will enter into force. "It is about the United States not showing sincerity at all", Gao said.

Whenever Trump or his officials talk tough on China, the USA stock market falls. Xi's speech Tuesday lifted stocks in Asia and US equity futures.

"If the U.S. side takes it own course and insists on carrying out unilateralism and trade protectionism, the Chinese side will fight resolutely and take them on until the end", ministry spokesman Gao Feng told reporters at a regular news briefing.

In that speech, China basically surrendered, and so now President Trump may be going to put more pressure on them before he accepts any final offers. "Very thankful for President Xi of China's kind words on tariffs and automobile barriers.also, his enlightenment on intellectual property and technology transfers". Technology and industrial companies also rose. "We will make great progress together!" Beijing, which has issued a $3 billion list of USA goods including pork and apples for possible retaliation, requested 60 days of consultations. But analysts and veteran China watchers were less upbeat about Xi's remarks than Trump, pointing out that there was nothing new in the statement and the Chinese leader had previously promised reforms of the auto sector.

Trump is right about this: There is a human cost to the flood of cheap imports, and it's reflected in the loss of manufacturing jobs as companies shift production outside the USA and automate to stay competitive. And he said that although the USA hoped to avoid taking action, Trump "was not bluffing".

"China does not seek trade surplus; we have a genuine desire to increase imports and achieve greater balance of global payments under the current account", he said. His says, "No, it sounds like STUPID TRADE".

Geng Shuang, a Foreign Ministry spokesman, said on Monday, "This trade conflict was initiated by the US alone and it is entirely the one to blame". He allowed that there "could be" a trade war but said he didn't anticipate one. "The U.S.is wielding the big stick of trade sanctions while keeping saying they are willing to talk". The retaliation from China would include putting higher tariffs on selected US exports to China.

The problem for China is that given the considerable trade surplus it enjoys over the USA, it is fast running out of retaliatory measures.

Meanwhile, China hopes foreign governments will also improve protection of Chinese IPR, the president said.

Both also show an affection for strong-man leadership, and while American democracy is far removed from China's one-party authoritarian system, Trump's verbal attacks on the mainstream media and certain judges have drawn criticism.

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