China doesn't want trade war with United States: commerce minister

Marsha Scott
March 12, 2018

After pressure from allies, the United States has opened the way for more exemptions from tariffs of 25% on steel imports and 10% on aluminum that US President Donald Trump set last week.

The European Union and Japan urged the United States to grant them exemptions from metal import tariffs, with Tokyo calling for "calm-headed behaviour".

China said Sunday that it would not initiate a trade war with the United States, but vowed to defend its national interests in the face of growing American protectionism.

He later dismissed threats of retaliation by other countries by saying, "trade wars are good, and easy to win".

China has repeatedly vowed to defend its "legitimate rights and interests" if targeted by U.S. trade actions.

But the target of Trump's ire is China, whose capacity expansions have helped add to global surpluses of steel.

"We have noticed that some foreign-funded businesses have complained about China's investment environment", Zhong said.

Zhong said China has the ability to deal with "any kind of challenges" and the country will "decisively" protect the interests of the state and its people.

More news: 49ers to meet with Richard Sherman
More news: Syria's war: Surprise rebel evacuation from Eastern Ghouta
More news: Thousands of eggs, embryos possibly damaged at OH hospital

"Nobody wants to fight a trade war, and everyone knows fighting one harms others and does not benefit oneself".

The U.S. reported a $375 billion deficit with China previous year, so a 20 percent reduction would still be among the largest trade gaps that it has with any country.

Zhong also took issue with the statistics behind the trade imbalance - which showed a record $375.2 billion USA deficit with China during Trump's first year in office. China accounts for only a small fraction of United States steel imports, but its massive industrial expansion has helped create a global glut of steel that has driven down prices.

Beijing and Washington have agreed to hold talks in Beijing in the near future to discuss economic and trade matters.

The U.S. deficit with China came to $375 billion in 2017, accounting for roughly half the nation's trade deficit globally, Washington said last month.

He gave no details on how this figure was reached, but the US and Chinese governments generally report widely differing trade figures because Beijing counts only the first port to which goods go instead of their final destination.

China does not want to enter in a war with the U.S., as it would have devastating consequences for world's economy.

The ministry will continue to control FDI, he said, while at the same time encouraging companies with strength and credibility to explore the global market and improve their ability in transnational operations.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

Discuss This Article