China Warns US: No Trade Deal if Tariffs Go Ahead

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China's attitude towards imports has been consistent: It is willing to increase imports from all countries, including the United States, according to Xinhua.

Ross said US and Chinese officials have discussed specific American export items Beijing might buy as part of its pledge to narrow its trade surplus with the United States.

But a short time later China issued a statement through the Xinhua news agency, saying, "If the United States introduces trade sanctions including a tariff increase, all the economic and trade achievements negotiated by the two parties will not take effect".

China is attempted to portray itself as defending free trade and global trading rules, although that stance is belied by China's high tariffs, subsidized exports, state-control of business, and onerous restrictions on foreign companies looking to access the Chinese market.

The US and China have threatened each other with $US150 billion in tariffs. "These talks have produced positive and concrete developments, though details are still being finalized".

Trade analysts had warned Ross's hand might be weakened by the Trump administration's decision Thursday to go ahead with tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Canada, Europe and Mexico.

Ross had been expected to seek clear commitments from Beijing to boost Chinese imports of U.S. products in areas such as energy and agriculture.

In the U.S., China hawks have been wary of the deal that Secretary Ross pursued in Beijing.

Ross did not speak to reporters in the lobby of his Beijing hotel on Saturday afternoon.

He says steel tariffs will protect United States steelmakers, which he says are vital to national security. The US now buys almost four times as much from the Chinese as it sells to them.

Tensions eased after China promised on May 19 to "significantly increase" purchases of farm goods, energy and other products and services following the last round of talks in Washington.

"Our meetings so far have been friendly and frank, and covered some useful topics about specific export items", Mr Ross said at the opening of Sunday's meeting. "Our established rhythm will not change", said Xinhua, China's official news agency.

The world's two largest economies have been at loggerheads over trade and industrial practices for months with the talks under way in the Chinese capital the third formal round of negotiations.

The two governments released no schedule for the talks, but China said earlier Ross was due to be in Beijing through to Monday.

But Mnuchin and United States trade representative Robert Lighthizer didn't attend Sunday's meeting in Beijing. The US envoy left Beijing with no clear sign that the two countries could avert a trade war.

Gai Xinzhe, an analyst at Bank of China's finance institute in Beijing, told Bloomberg that "China is concerned over the U.S.'s unpredictability, especially after Trump turned an about-face on tariffs".

The visit from the large U.S. delegation, with members from several executive branch agencies, came as fears of an all-out global trade war intensified after the European Union, Canada and Mexico drew up retaliatory measures to Washington's stinging steel and aluminium tariffs that went into effect on Friday.

The U.S. team also wants to secure greater intellectual property protection and an end to Chinese subsidies that have contributed to overproduction of steel and aluminum.