Why Trump's Tariffs May Push Europe Toward China and Russia

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The appeal came ahead of planned weekend talks with Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross on US pressure to narrow China's multibillion-dollar trade surplus with the United States.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross was in Beijing on June 2 and 3, for talks with Chinese officials led by Vice Premier Liu He, according to Xinhua.

The event went ahead despite that but Beijing said it reserved the right to retaliate.

On Sunday, Ross said the two sides discussed specific exports Beijing might buy, but the meeting ended with no commitments.

China's door to talks is open in principle, the country's Foreign Ministry said on Monday, a day after Beijing warned that any trade and business deals reached with Washington would be void if the United States implemented tariffs.

"All economic and trade outcomes of the talks will not take effect if the US side imposes any trade sanctions including raising tariffs", the statement said, as reported by Xinhua.

The Dairy Farmers of Canada branded as "troubling" and "worrisome" comments Trudeau made on NBC's Meet the Press that Canada was considering allowing USA dairy greater access to the Canadian market as part of the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement.

China would abandon its commitment to buy more American goods if Trump's plan to impose tariffs on $50 billion of Chinese exports went ahead.

Tensions temporarily eased on May 19 after China promised to "significantly increase" its purchases of US farm, energy and other products.

Beijing has resisted U.S. pressure to commit to a firm target of narrowing its annual surplus with the United States by $US200 billion ($264 billion).

Last month, Trump had threatened punitive measures against Chinese goods if China doesn't cut down the trade deficit by Dollars 100 billion in a month and USD 200 billion by 2020.

Ross was accompanied by agriculture, Treasury and trade officials for the meeting at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse.

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China's Ministry of Commerce, in response, took a dig at the flip-flopping from Washington, saying "We are both surprised and unsurprised at the statement, which is obviously contrary to the consensus reached between China and the U.S.in Washington not long ago".

Wilbur Ross sounded upbeat on Sunday after having dinner the previous evening with China's Vice-Premier Liu He.

China is maneuvering to take advantage of rebukes from USA allies following the Trump administration's decision to slap tariffs on steel and aluminum imported from Canada, Mexico, and European Union.

Mr Trump has threatened to raise tariffs on a total of up to $US150 billion ($198 billion) of Chinese goods.

Trump's decision to end tariff exemptions for Canada, Mexico and Europe (including France) comes only 37 days after Macron visited him in Washington and warned him that the protectionist move could have dire consequences.

There was no indication whether the talks also would take up American complaints that Beijing steals or pressures foreign companies.

"The Trump administration's fixation on the trade deficit is exactly where I think the Chinese would prefer to have this", said Paul Haenle, director of the Carnegie-Tsinghua Center for Global Policy in Beijing.

This week, the White House renewed its threat to slap tariffs on $50 billion worth of Chinese imports, tighten restrictions on Chinese investments in the U.S. and stiffen export controls.

At the center of the row was the White House's decision to slap tariffs on steel and aluminum produced by key USA allies in the European Union and Canada.

China has said it has made progress with protecting intellectual property and American companies willingly enter into contracts with Chinese companies to operate in China.

The state-run Chinese newspaper Global Times contended in an editorial that, "Tariffs and expanding exports - the United States can't have both".