All trade deals could be off, China warns US

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A United States delegation led by Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross held talks with Chinese negotiators in Beijing on Saturday and Sunday.

The tone of the statement suggested that China's concessions at last month's talks in Washington were not enough for the Trump administration, says BBC Asia Business correspondent Karishma Vaswani.

No formal trade deals came out of that meeting, but China agreed last month to "significantly increase purchases of United States goods and services", according to a White House statement.

Private sector analysts say while Beijing is willing to compromise on its trade surplus, it will resist changes that might threaten plans to transform China into a global technology competitor.

"Our meetings so far have been friendly and frank, and covered some useful topics about specific export items", Ross told the Chinese trade team led by Liu, President Xi Jinping's right hand-man on economic issues, on Sunday morning.

Asked specifically on Fox's "Sunday Morning Futures" if the willing to throw away its relationship with China by proceeding with threatened tariff hikes, Peter Navarro, director of the White House National Trade Council, pointed in part to an unfair relationship involving a multi-billion dollar trade deficit, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis' warning of China's activities in the South China Sea and the threat of China stealing US intellectual property.

The two countries have threatened tit-for-tat tariffs on goods worth up to $150bn each.

The Xinhua statement instead said that details of implementing the Washington consensus were subject to confirmation by both sides. "These talks have produced positive and concrete developments, though details are still being finalized".

"If the USA introduces trade sanctions including tariff increases, all economic and trade achievements negotiated by the two parties so far will be void", said a Chinese government statement issued by the official Xinhua news agency.

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The White House said that Trump planned to add the tariffs to combat Chinese intellectual property theft, including tariffs on exports believed to contain stolen American intellectual property.

There was no immediate response from the USA delegation or from Ross himself.

In addition to tariffs, Ross is also under pressure from US lawmakers to stay tough on Chinese telecom-equipment maker ZTE Corp.

"I want to be clear, this isn't just about [China] buying more goods, this is about structural changes", Mnuchin said.

China also said it won't be pushed into making major changes to its economic policies. China pledged to take steps to "substantially" reduce the US trade deficit, including by buying more American farm goods and energy, though it didn't commit to a dollar amount.

Other officials and technical experts from the Department of Commerce, Department of Treasury, United States Trade Representative, Department of Agriculture, and Department of Energy also took part, the White House said.

The two-day talks in Beijing which ended on Sunday followed an earlier round in Washington where officials had met to discuss the situation. China balked at making concessions unless the US lifted the tariff threat.

Liu is also a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, and chief of the Chinese side of the China-US comprehensive economic dialogue. Germany is also hoping its steel exports to the United States will be exempted from sanctions.