Putting pressure on Beijing won’t work – Chinese FM

China Premier, Xi Jinping
China Premier, Xi Jinping

China’s foreign ministry on Friday said that putting pressure on Beijing over trade won’t work, after a report that U.S. President Donald Trump is prepared to quickly ramp up a trade war between the two countries.

Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying made the comments at a daily news briefing in Beijing.

Bloomberg reported that Trump has told aides he is ready to impose tariffs on $200 billion more in Chinese imports as soon as a public comment period on the plan ends on September 6.

The White House declined comment on the Bloomberg report, which cited six unidentified sources, and deflated markets.

The S&P hit session lows, and the U.S. dollar, Chinese yuan and U.S. Treasury yields also fell.

Washington is demanding Beijing improve market access and intellectual property protections for U.S. companies, cut industrial subsidies and slash a $375 billion trade gap.

The world’s two largest economies have already applied tariffs to $50 billion of each other’s goods in a tit-for-tat trade war.

Talks aimed at easing tensions ended last week without major breakthroughs.

The new proposed 25 per cent tariffs would affect consumer products including home building supplies, technology products, bicycles and apparel.

Some sources said Mr Trump had not made his final decision, the Bloomberg report said. Trump administration officials have been divided over how hard to push Beijing.

Mr Trump, who has threatened to impose duties on virtually all of the more than 500 billion dollars of Chinese goods exported to the U.S.each year, told Reuters in an interview earlier this month that resolving the trade war with China would “take time” and that he had “no time frame” for ending it.

The report on Mr Trump’s China stance coincides with U.S. negotiators pushing to hammer out a deal with Canadian counterparts to overhaul the North American Free Trade Agreement.

(Reuters/NAN)

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