US commerce secretary arrives in Beijing for talks on trade surplus

Leah Millis  Reuters

On May 30, China's commerce ministry said the usa trade delegation had arrived in Beijing and teams from both countries would discuss coming up with a consensus over the next few days. [T] he United States will impose a 25 percent tariff on $50 billion of goods imported from China containing industrially significant technology, including those related to the "Made in China 2025" program.

On March 23, Trump had imposed massive trade tariffs amounting to Dollars 60 billion on China, in an effort to stop the latter from stealing "intellectual property" from American companies.

China welcomes the US clarification, said spokesperson Hua Chunying at a routine press briefing.

It also reduced tariffs from 20.5 per cent to 8 per cent on washing machines and refrigerators and announced a cut to the average tariff for many imported processed foods from 15.2 per cent to 6.9 per cent.

For example, the initial release of the more than 1,300 goods from the United States prompted China to announce its own suite of 106 US products that would be subject to a 25 percent tariff.

Tuesday's announcement has widely been viewed as a flip-flop on an agreement reached earlier this month to move away from trade tariff threats and focus on a broader deal.

The announcement came just before Mr Ross announced in Washington that the United States would begin imposing tariffs on steel and aluminium from Canada, Mexico and the European Union at midnight on Thursday.

Those hard issues include what the USA complains is rampant theft of intellectual property, as well as Beijing's support for cutting-edge technologies under its Made in China 2025 policy. Under the deal, ZTE will oust its management team, hire American compliance offers and pay a fine - on top of the $1 billion it's already paid for selling equipment to North Korea and Iran in violation of US sanctions.

First announced in March, the tariff threat drew an in-kind response from China - primarily targeting agricultural goods, including soybeans, corn, wheat, sorghum, cotton and beef.

Donald Trump is gearing up for a trade war with China. In return, the U.S. Commerce Department will lift a seven-year ban on ZTE buying components from U.S. companies.

Seeking leverage, Trump's administration launched an investigation into whether tariffs might be necessary on vehicle imports, based on national security concerns.

"These meetings will take place from June 2 through June 3, and are a continuation of the talks held in Beijing one month ago and in Washington two weeks ago", the White House said in a statement.

Observers say any visa restrictions on high tech field education could hurt China's big push into high tech manufacturing including robotics and artificial intelligence.

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