China’s foreign ministry announced that they would be open to talks about trade, one day after Beijing announced that business and trade deals would be scrapped if the United States decided to enforce tariffs on China. The United States and China have been going back and forth on the subject of tariffs, which could amount to more than $150 billion for each country if the tariffs go into effect.
Secretary of Commerce for the United States, Wilbur Ross, met in Beijing on Sunday. He failed to make a public statement about the negotiations and China followed suit. China fell back to the consensus made last month in Washington between Ross and China’s Vice Premier Liu He. The agreement ended with China agreeing to increase how many goods they purchase from the United States to reduce the United States trade deficit.
Hua Chunying, foreign ministry spokeswomen, sent questions about when the next round of talks would occur to the Commerce Ministry. Reporters questioned if Liu was getting ready to head to the United States for negotiations. Hua said that China’s principle is that they are open to talks and consultations. She also added that China wants to resolve the issue through talks, but failed to give further information.
White House Position
The White House affirmed that the Trump Administration wants the result to be a fair trade relationship between the countries. The meetings focused on reducing the trade deficit in the United States by supplying China with needed energy and agricultural products. The equal exchange will benefit both countries according to the White House’s statement.
President Trump’s stance
Trump gave his opinion on the matter by arguing that China charges a 16 percent tax on soybeans that hurts American agricultural products. He exclaimed that the trade barriers China currently has in place hurt American farmers. He also stated that he feels Americans have suffered from trade policies with Canada, Mexico, and China, but he aims to change that in the future.
An editorial in the China Daily noted that the weekend talks created optimism, but they worry about how unpredictable President Trump has been in the past. They argued that President Trump claims the relationship will benefit both companies, but feel that the policies could extort China due to economic advantages the U.S. currently has. At the time the trade war was put “on hold.”
The White House changed their stance after the talks, warning that it wouldn’t hesitate to place tariffs on more than $50 billion worth of imports from the country. The White House also mentioned that they would tighten controls on exports and create further restrictions on investments that Chinese individuals could make in the U.S.
The increased tensions between the United States and China have risen as President Trump has alienated U.S. allies with the impending trade war that tariffs on metal imports could create, causing detrimental effects across the globe.