White House calls off trade truce as talks continue

Containers are seen at the Yangshan Deep Water Port in Shanghai China

The United States said on Tuesday that it still holds the threat of imposing tariffs on $50 billion of imports from China and will use it unless Beijing addresses the issue of theft of American intellectual property. The U.S. government will also by June 30 "implement specific investment restrictions and enhanced export controls for Chinese persons and entities related to the acquisition of industrially significant technology".

But Beijing did not agree to any specific dollar amounts, despite the Trump administration's push to lower the US trade deficit by at least $200 billion.

When he announced the initial plan to impose tariffs, the president also instructed the Treasury Department to draw up new curbs on investments in the U.S.by Chinese companies.

The Trump administration said Tuesday that tariffs on $50 billion worth of Chinese goods would be finalized by June 15 despite a trade agreement reached between the two countries earlier this month. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross is due to arrive in Beijing on Saturday for talks aimed at cooling trade tensions between the two countries.

It announced that the United States would take multiple steps to protect domestic technology and intellectual property from certain discriminatory and burdensome trade practices by China.

The White House said on Tuesday: "Discussions with China will continue on these topics, and the United States looks forward to resolving long-standing structural issues and expanding our exports by eliminating China's severe import restrictions".

It said technology transfers between USA companies and their Chinese partners were the result of normal business practices, not coercive policies.

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Officials in the Trump administration have sought to distance ZTE from the trade talks, but the president previously linked the two issues.

The tariffs and investment restrictions, as well as a case brought by the United States against China before the World Trade Organisation, are the outcome of an investigation launched past year into intellectual property practices in China.

After Beijing promised to retaliate in kind to any duties, the President raised the ante to slapping tariffs on an additional US$100 billion in Chinese goods. The White House confirmed yesterday that it meant to impose...

Liu said a fortnight ago that a deal had been struck for China to increase imports of USA energy, agricultural, health, high-tech products and financial services.

U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping shake hands during a meeting in November.

But when Trump subsequently said he would ease penalties against ZTE in order to save Chinese jobs, this drew a sharp backlash from his supporters. China has made similar promises to act better on trade with the U.S.in the past.

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