Trade war with United States would bring disaster, says Chinese minister


Chinese Commerce Minister Zhong Shan has suggested that Beijing may retaliate if Washington goes ahead with a plan to impose high tariffs on imported steel and other products.

Different statistical methods widen US trade deficit with China by around 20 percent, Chinese commerce minister said Sunday.

"There will be no victor", Commerce Minister Zhong Shan told a press conference on the sidelines of the ongoing session of the National People's Congress. China is not one of those nations.

He noted that China's top economic adviser Liu He visited the U.S. recently and held "candid and constructive" talks with American officials on bilateral trade issues.

"We are not only talking for now, we will continue to talk in the future", he said.

The U.S. deficit with China came to $375 billion in 2017, accounting for roughly half the nation's trade deficit globally, Washington said last month.

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The further trade imbalance between the two countries is structural, with China exporting more commodities to the United States while importing more services, Zhong said, adding that trade competitiveness is determined by industries. Specific details were not given, but Zhong pledged to give equal treatment to domestic and foreign businesses alike while continuing to curb "irrational overseas investment" from within China.

As we reported earlier, new tariffs on aluminium import were adopted in the United States of America this week.

Trade tensions between China and the United States have risen since Mr Trump took office.

China's metals industry issued the country's most explicit threat yet in the row, urging the government to retaliate by targeting United States coal - a sector central to Mr Trump's political base and his election pledge to restore United States industries and blue-collar jobs.

The U.S. reported a $375 billion deficit with China previous year, so a 20 percent reduction would still be among the largest trade gaps that it has with any country.

There was still "no immediate clarity on the exact United States procedure on exemption", Malmstrom, the 28-nation bloc's trade commissioner, said after the meeting that also included Japanese Trade Minister Hiroshige Seko.