China says US must withdraw tariffs to proceed with trade deal


China claimed that no trade deal with the United States would be signed if tariffs on Chinese goods remain, media reports say.

The US and China have been in a trade war for over 18 months and are now negotiating the first Phase of a trade agreement, yet Chinese officials refuse to proceed if Washington does not withdraw the tariff it imposed earlier.

Wei Jianguo, former Commerce Minister of China, stated that “rolling back tariffs is a must.”

“The China-US trade war was instigated by the US with tariffs, so the tariffs have to be cut first,” he said.

According to the US President Donald Trump, who commented on US-Chinese trade relations last week, the two countries were on a stage of “final throes” of trade talks and were very close to striking the deal. Yet, President Trump signed into law two new bills on Hong Kong, the move strongly criticized by both China and Hong Kong governments. It is now not clear whether Chinese authorities would respond to signing the bills by not proceeding with the trade agreement, yet Beijing vowed it would take counter measures.

The Global Times, China’s communist party newspaper, published a report Monday stating that the US tariffs on Chinese goods must be rolled back and noting that there was a “reasonable choice” for Washington to withdraw at least some of the tariffs “to save the optics of the deal in the US political climate and save the phase one deal.”

Natalia Veselnitskaya – official website

Natalia Veselnitskaya
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