China says it does not want U.S. trade frictions to escalate

China's Willing to Boost Imports If U.S. Meets Half-Way on Trade

China's Willing to Boost Imports If U.S. Meets Half-Way on Trade

Data from China show that the trade surplus with the United States grew further in May.

Washington's trade battles with China, Europe, Mexico and others are an effort to make those countries buy more U.S. goods and force down the USA trade deficit, which Trump sees as a job killer and threat to the American industrial base.

China's Ministry of Commerce stressed on Thursday that the nation is willing to expand imports from the U.S. if they can meet "halfway" in trade negotiations.

Trump had, last week, announced that the U.S. was pressing ahead with plans to impose 25% tariffs on US$50 billion in Chinese imports tied to tech industries that Washington says have benefited from the alleged theft of United States know-how and intellectual property.

China's Commerce Ministry says that the country does not want trade frictions with the United States to escalate, and that some specific progress was made in the latest round of talks last weekend, Reuters reports.

The country's global surplus narrowed by 39 percent to $24.9 billion.

Shortly after the end of the exemption, the European Union initiated a dispute with the United States at the WTO, and announced Wednesday the start of applying rebalancing duties on USA products in July, as part of the "three-pronged response".

According to the statement issued by the Chinese side, the economic and trade outcomes reached in the talks will not take effect if the United States imposes any trade sanctions including raising tariffs.

While the deal to allow ZTE to restart business removes one irritant in the US-China relationship, Trump's main concern is cutting his nation's persistent trade deficit.

China's export growth in May was 12.6 percent, slightly down from 12.9 percent in April, but well above the 10 percent that economists polled by the Reuters news agency had predicted.

Although only targeting a comparatively small percentage of global imports, the symbolism of this move is being interpreted as a formal declaration of a trade war, one which will inevitably draw a response that could easily provoke a self-sustaining cycle of economic tensions within the West.

China does not want an escalation of trade friction with the U.S., said ministry spokesman Gao Feng. Our second chart shows the combined value of that trade in terms of US dollars for each month over the past 10 years, along with its trailing-twelve month average. Between January and May, it hit $104.8 billion, while a year ago it was a record $375.2 billion.

The figures may reinforce Washington's determination to move forward with new tariffs on tens of billions of dollars of Chinese imports as early as next week.

The administration has said that a final list of goods for a first wave of duties will be issued next week, and that US Treasury Department plans to limit Chinese investment in the United States were also under way.

Reform and opening-up as well as expanding imports are China's established strategies. To do so, it would have to buy the equivalent of more than 600 Boeing airliners annually.

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