China stresses US must remove all tariffs for trade deal

The US suspended the application of fresh tariffs, but no plan for face-to-face talks yet

US president Donald Trump and China president Xi Jinping agreed last month to re-start talks.

US president Donald Trump and China president Xi Jinping agreed last month to re-start talks.

 

China continues to stress that the US must remove all the tariffs placed on Chinese goods as a condition for reaching a trade deal.

On Friday, an influential blog connected to state media said the talks will “go backward again” without that step, echoing the line from Ministry of Commerce’s weekly briefing on Thursday.

While US president Donald Trump and China president Xi Jinping agreed last month to re-start talks and the US suspended the application of fresh tariffs, no plan for face-to-face negotiations has yet been announced.

“If the two sides are to reach a deal, all imposed tariffs must be removed,” Ministry of Commerce Spokesman Gao Feng said on Thursday. “China’s attitude on that is clear and consistent.”

Scrapping all the punitive tariffs the US imposed is the “most important” request and that won’t change during the trade talks, according to a commentary by Taoran Notes, a blog run by the Economic Daily under a pseudonym on the WeChat platform.

Some US officials have insisted that some tariffs will stay even after a deal, as a means to enforce it.

China laid out three red lines for a trade deal when the talks collapsed in May. As well as the removal of all the tariffs, any purchases must be in line with the country’s real demand and the deal must be based on equality and mutual respect.

Chinese purchases of US agricultural products is the country’s “special chip” in the negotiation, and any imports will depend on whether the talks will be equal and mutually respectful, according to the Taoran Notes commentary.

China is apparently considering buying some agricultural goods from the US as a gesture of goodwill, but so far, there has been no sign of the “tremendous” purchases that President Donald Trump said China had promised to make. – Bloomberg