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Thursday, 29 October 2020

White House says still pursuing China trade sanctions

AFP , Tuesday 29 May 2018
FILE PHOTO: Containers are seen at the Yangshan Deep Water Port in Shanghai, China April 24, 2018. REUTERS
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The White House said Tuesday the planned trade sanctions against China announced in March are still in the works, and details will be announced in the coming month.

Despite announcing a truce in the trade hostilities, after Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said threatened tariffs on Chinese goods were "on hold," the White House signaled it was ready to pull the trigger on a broad array of penalties.

The statement comes as Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross prepares to travel to Beijing this week for another round of talks aimed at resolving the conflict, which includes a threat of matching sanctions from China on US goods.

The US trade sanctions announced in March -- including restrictions on Chinese investment, export controls and 25 percent tariffs on as much as $50 billion in Chinese tech exports -- remain under development, the White House said Tuesday.

The final list of Chinese imports covered by the tariffs list will be announced June 15, and the proposed investment restrictions and enhanced export controls will be announced two weeks after that, according to the statement.

In addition, as part of the ongoing talks "the United States will request that China remove all of its many trade barriers, including non-monetary trade barriers, which make it both difficult and unfair to do business there."

President Donald Trump has faced a backlash among lawmakers this month after announcing he would soften US sanctions on the Chinese telecoms equipment maker ZTE, which neared collapse due to an April ban on purchasing crucial US components.

Lawmakers in both parties have also criticized the president, saying this month's truce surrendered Washington's leverage without obtaining significant concessions from Beijing.

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