Trump’s Tough Talk On China Works: China’s Premier Pledges Opening Market To Avert Trade War
President Trump just announced a new series of tariffs on roughly $50 billion in Chinese imports. These new tariffs are the result of a seven-month investigation into China’s continued theft of US intellectual property. “We have a tremendous intellectual property theft problem. It’s going to make us a much stronger, much richer nation,” President Trump told reporters this morning. “This has been long in the making.”
While President Trump is imposing the harsh tariffs to help correct the current trade imbalance, he remained open and confident with US-Chinese relations calling China a “friend” to the use and stating he had “tremendous respect” President Xi Jinping.
Today, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said that Bejing is now pushing for talks to correct Chinese-US trade imbalances, rather than a trade war which he believes will hurt both countries. Speaking at a press conference Mr. Li stated, “With regard to trade imbalances, China and the United States should adopt a pragmatic and rational attitude, promote balancing through expansion of trade, and stick to negotiations to resolve differences and friction.”
Premier Li pledged to make access for American business easier in China and that, going forward, China will treat foreign and domestic companies equally, without pushing US-firms to transfer intellectual property rights as it has done before. The theft of intellectual property and US-developed technologies has long-since been a point of contention for the US.
The United States asked China in a letter last week to cut a tariff on U.S. autos, buy more U.S.-made semiconductors and give U.S. firms greater access to the Chinese financial sector, the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday, citing unidentified sources.
Alarm over a possible trade war between the world’s two largest economies has chilled financial markets as investors anticipated dire consequences should trade barriers go up due to President Donald Trump’s bid to cut the U.S. deficit with China.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer listed steps they want China to take in a letter to Liu He, a newly appointed vice premier who oversees China’s economy, the Journal said, quoting sources with knowledge of the matter.
The newspaper reported that Mnuchin was considering a visit to Beijing to pursue negotiations.
Despite a steady stream of fierce rhetoric from Chinese state media lambasting the United States for being a “bully” and warning of retaliation, Chinese and U.S. officials are busy negotiating behind the scenes.