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14 September 2018, 08:52 | Hattie Nash
Trump denies pressure for trade deal as China welcomes U.S. talks invite
While no concrete details were revealed by either side, potential new talks would be aimed at staving off the next round of US$200 billion in punitive duties from the USA expected this month - the largest tariff measure in the intensifying trade war so far - and US$60 billion in retaliatory tariffs from China.
China is locked in a bitter trade war with the United States and has vowed repeatedly to uphold the multilateral trading system and free trade, with the WTO at its center. They plan events in Chicago, Nashville, Pennsylvania and OH starting next week, according to a statement posted on a new website.
The U.S. -China Business Council (USCBC), a nonpartisan non-profit representing around 200 American companies, told Observer that, in recent weeks, the council has been hearing from U.S. companies about delays and challenges getting licensing approvals in China.
The coalition posted a searchable map linking users to stories from farmers and businesses saying they're harmed by tariffs. Mr. Trump threatened to increase that number by another $267 billion to bring the total tariffs to an amount equal to all of China's annual exports to the U.S. The administration already imposed tariffs on $50 billion of Chinese goods, slapped tariffs on aluminum (10 percent) and steel (25 percent), and raised duties on washing machines (up to 50 percent) and solar panels (up to 30 percent).
AmCham chairman William Zarit said American business leaders in China want Trump to rethink the levies he has proposed on an additional $200 billion in Chinese imports, including many consumer goods. The White House is pushing tariffs as a powerful negotiating tool for winning what it says are better trade deals for all Americans. American officials also worry they might erode USA industrial leadership.
A U.S. Treasury spokesman did not respond to requests for comment.
Just six percent, meanwhile, said they would consider moving factories to US soil.
In a survey by two American chambers of commerce in China, almost two-thirds of USA firms who responded said the waves of new tariffs have harmed their business. "The US administration will be hurting the companies it should be helping".
The tariffs on washing machines have hit consumers.
Prices for washing machines jumped 16.4 percent from February to May, the most rapid three-month increase in the 40-year history of the Bureau of Labor Statistics' index for laundry equipment. "Likewise, Trump's ill-advised trade war, which started in January when he approved the tariffs on imported washing machines, is really largely a war on Americans".
He said on Twitter that a Wall Street Journal story on Wednesday about the talks invitation from Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin amid rising USA political pressure on Trump to ease up on trade fights "has it wrong".
The invitation, first reported by the Wall Street Journal, comes amid a swelling chorus of opposition to tariffs from Western business circles.
"We are under no pressure to make a deal with China, they are under pressure to make a deal with us", Mr Trump said in a tweet on Thursday. Mr. Trump said the newspaper got it wrong about which side is under pressure to deal.
"I think most of us think it's better to talk than not to talk, and I think the Chinese government is willing to talk", Kudlow said, declining to provide any further details.
The possible resumption of negotiations sent Asian markets rallying with Hong Kong surging 2.5 per cent - having fallen for six straight days and into a bear market - and Shanghai more than one per cent higher.
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