China to push forward Belt and Road cooperation: minister
12 March, 2018, 12:15 | Author: Orlando Hughes
"We are continuing our discussions", Commerce Minister Zhong Shan said during a press conference held on the sidelines of the annual parliamentary session underway in Beijing.
China says it "firmly opposes" US President Donald J. Trump's tariff increase for imported steel and aluminum, but gave no indication whether Beijing might impose its own measures in response.
"Because no one is willing to start a tradewar, and everyone knows trade wars hurt others without helping themselves", Zhong said.
Trump has called the tariffs a matter of national security while threatening to tax European vehicle imports and impose "reciprocal taxes" on countries that charge higher duties on U.S. goods than the United States now charges on their products.
China can handle any challenges and will resolutely protect its interests, but the two countries will continue to talk, he said.
Imported cars accounted for less than 5% of the total 29 million units sold in China a year ago, statistics from Wang's association show.
This could be further cut by 35 per cent if the United States lifts the ban on high-tech exports to China, he added.
The US trade shortfall in goods with China surged 8.1 percent during the first year of Trump's presidency, reaching a record $375 billion, according to Commerce Department data released last month.
China said it will lower tariffs on auto imports, in a move that analysts say could increase the competitiveness of high-end imports but may have limited impact on the vehicle market as a whole.
Trump's administration has said the United States mistakenly supported China's membership in the World Trade Organization in 2001 on terms that have failed to force Beijing to open its economy.
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