The US and China, Dancing on the Edge of a Trade War?

The tariffs and investment restrictions, as well as a case brought by the USA against China before the World Trade Organisation, are the outcome of an investigation launched previous year into intellectual property practices in China.

Trade war fears had receded after the Trump administration said it had reached a deal to put ZTE Corp back in business after banning China's second-biggest telecoms equipment maker from buying US technology parts for seven years.

The White House doubled down Tuesday on its plan to impose tariffs against billions of dollars worth of Chinese imports, saying it will release a list of the affected products by June.

Just nine days ago, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin - recently returned from unsuccessful trade talks in Beijing - declared that "we're putting the trade war on hold".

CGTN's Mike Walter spoke with Ronce Almond about the latest updates in the US-China trade dispute.

The announced measures also come amid bipartisan criticism of the president's softening of penalties for ZTE, a Chinese telecom company that had traded with Iran and North Korea in defiance of USA sanctions.

By mid-June, the United States will complete a list of roughly $50 billion worth of Chinese imports that will receive a 25 percent tariff. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross is scheduled to visit Beijing on Saturday for a round of talks.

According to the Wall Street Journal, citing Chinese officials, China is looking to line up countries against the US. While Beijing ultimately wants to negotiate and reduce tensions with the United States, responding in kind with measures that target politically sensitive areas of the US economy - such as soybeans - could give China negotiating leverage.

The meeting held in Washington in May where many matters were discussed on Chinese matters.

"The United States will request that China remove all of its many trade barriers", the White House said, "including non-monetary trade barriers, which make it both hard and unfair to do business there". President Trump subsequently said he was not satisfied with the negotiations, and that they had a "long way to go".

Recent talks between US and Chinese trade officials in Beijing and Washington seemed to produce a tenuous truce, but that has apparently fizzled. Those restrictions will be announced by June 30, the Trump administration says, and will also be implemented "shortly thereafter".

USTR will continue [the] WTO dispute settlement against China originally initiated in March to address China's discriminatory technology licensing requirements.

In response, the Chinese Ministry of Commerce said it was "surprised" by the move but at the same time "somewhat expected" it.

China says it is ready to retaliate possible measures by the United States to impose restrictions on investment by Chinese companies.

The announcement is another apparent change of course for Trump, who veers from harsh threats to promises of compromise and back again on trade and other sensitive issues. "We will fight back", she said.

Noting that China is engaging in a systematic and multifaceted strategy to steal intellectual property, Gaetz alleged that beyond the economic costs, this theft presented significant concerns for national security.

  • Rogelio Becker