China Reiterates Demand That U.S. Must Lift All Tariffs
A China Ocean Shipping Group Co. (COSCO) cargo ship sits docked at the Port of Vancouver terminal in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. (Photographer: Ben Nelms/Bloomberg)

China Reiterates Demand That U.S. Must Lift All Tariffs

(Bloomberg) --

China continues to stress that the U.S. must remove all the tariffs placed on Chinese goods as a condition for reaching a trade deal.

On Friday, an influential blog connected to state media said the talks will “go backward again” without that step, echoing the line from Ministry of Commerce’s weekly briefing on Thursday.

While President Donald Trump and President Xi Jinping agreed last month to re-start talks and the U.S. suspended the application of fresh tariffs, no plan for face-to-face negotiations has yet been announced.

“If the two sides are to reach a deal, all imposed tariffs must be removed,” Ministry of Commerce Spokesman Gao Feng said on Thursday. “China’s attitude on that is clear and consistent.”

Scrapping all the punitive tariffs the U.S. imposed is the “most important” request and that won’t change during the trade talks, according to a commentary by Taoran Notes, a blog run by the Economic Daily under a pseudonym on the WeChat platform.

Some U.S. officials have insisted that some tariffs will stay even after a deal, as a means to enforce it.

China laid out three red lines for a trade deal when the talks collapsed in May. As well as the removal of all the tariffs, any purchases must be in line with the country’s real demand and the deal must be based on equality and mutual respect.

Chinese purchases of U.S. agricultural products is the country’s “special chip” in the negotiation, and any imports will depend on whether the talks will be equal and mutually respectful, according to the Taoran Notes commentary.

China is apparently considering buying some agricultural goods from the U.S. as a gesture of goodwill, but so far, there has been no sign of the “tremendous” purchases that President Donald Trump said China had promised to make.

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

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