United States will not push China to change its system, says Lighthizer

by Garry Watts May 3, 2018, 9:27
United States will not push China to change its system, says Lighthizer

Lighthizer will head to Beijing on Thursday as part of a USA delegate to further trade talks between the two countries, hoping to ease tensions that have spiked in the past month.

Asked how long Trump would negotiate with Chinese officials before imposing tariffs, Lighthizer said: "We'll see".

Ross, in his CNBC interview, did not provide details on the Trump administration's specific demands on China, but said: "We have a pretty good idea of what we need to come out with". At the time, he was also accusing China of manipulating its currency to gain an export advantage, a claim that his administration has since dropped.

U.S. officials are concerned about Beijing's "Made in China 2025" industrial policy which they see as a Chinese plan to dominate key high tech industries.

"In the event of a trade war, we have a much greater ability to endure [the consequences] than the United States", the Chinese official said.

China "will stand up to the U.S.' bullying as necessary".

The U.S.is coming to the table with a laundry list of complaints about how China controls its markets.

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"The time when China could be forced to open its doors is long past, and Beijing is not opening them wider now simply to appease others", it said.

"Washington and Beijing should be clear: neither side can scare the other down". The initiative aims to upgrade the country's domestic manufacturing base with more advanced products.

The mission including Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer is due to hold talks later Thursday and Friday with Chinese officials led by Liu He, President Xi Jinping's top economic adviser. The US tariffs could go into effect in June following the completion of a 60-day consultation period, but USTR has kept its activation plans vague.

China has denied that it forces companies to transfer technology and has promised to retaliate in kind to any us tariffs.

US -based trade experts said they expected Beijing to offer Trump's team a package of policy changes that may include some previously announced moves, such as a phase-out of joint venture requirements for some sectors, autos tariff reductions and increased purchases of USA goods.

On March 23, Trump had imposed massive trade tariffs amounting to United States dollars 60 billion on China, in an effort to stop the latter from stealing "intellectual property" from American companies.

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