All tariffs imposed on Chinese goods must be eliminated if Washington wants a trade deal to be made with Beijing, China’s Ministry of Commerce said, as the two countries are preparing to restart their trade talks.
“If the two sides are to reach a deal, all imposed tariffs must be removed. China’s attitude on that is clear and consistent,” CNBC cited the ministry’s spokesman Gao Feng as saying at a weekly press briefing on Thursday, July 4.
The United States has been imposing 25% tariffs on $250 billion of Chinese imports, drawing retaliatory tariff measures from China. President Donald Trump has threatened to slap duties on another $300 billion of Chinese goods.
Gao’s remarks seem inconsistent with Chinese leader Xi Jinping who agreed with President Trump to hold off on imposing new tariffs and resume negotiations during their meeting at the sideline of the G-20 summit in Osaka, Japan, on June 29.
President Trump said after the G-20 meeting that the existing tariffs imposed on $250 billion in Chinese goods would not be reduced.
The Trump administration decided to impose punitive tariffs on thousands of types of Chinese goods, starting in July 2018. He said that China steals the U.S.’s intellectual property, forces foreign companies to share technology, and demands U.S. firms turn over trade secrets in exchange for doing business in China.
Negotiations have been held to address their trade tensions, but the talks were stalled in May. Though the two sides reached a truce at the G-20 summit last week, there are still many sticking points, including the issue of intellectual property theft.
Some U.S. officials have revealed that representatives from the two largest economies will relaunch their talks in the coming weeks, first by phone calls, then by face-to-face meeting.