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China Focus: US protectionism to hurt interests of its own

09 April 2018

President Donald Trump is suggesting China will ease trade barriers "because it is the right thing to do" and Washington and Beijing can settle disputes that have rattled financial markets, consumers and businesses. "Great future for both countries!" the president tweeted.

President Trump said he still had a cozy relationship with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping - even as he's accused the nation of stealing billions in US intellectual property.

Beijing also has plans to pursue legal action through the World Trade Association on United States tariffs announced last month against imported steel and aluminium products. The Trump administration has said it is taking action as a crackdown on China's theft of United States intellectual property.

After an initial honeymoon with Xi, Trump has renewed his China attacks, threatening to pile on as much as US$150 billion (RM580 billion) of tariffs on the country's goods.

A deal addressing China's theft of US intellectual property is also expected to be made.

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President Donald Trump and his allies again assured the country on Sunday morning that they do not expect China to actually implement threatened tariffs that could rock the USA economy and hurt American farmers, especially those who grow soybeans or raise hogs.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., acknowledged that USA industries may take a short-term hit in the trade dispute, saying, "There is no way for us to address China without absorbing some pain here". "When you increase tariffs on soybeans, commodity prices go up in China". "But we need to do so in a way that we do not spark a trade war". China's Commerce Ministry spokesman, Gao Feng, said on Friday that Trump's threat of another package of tariffs was "extremely mistaken" and unjustified, adding no negotiations were likely in the current circumstances. "We want fair and reciprocal trade".

The Chinese government says its tariffs are specifically in response to the USA trade measures against steel and aluminum.

Could services be next in China's sights to defend its interests "at any cost" in a U.S. trade war?

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Communist Party mouthpiece People's Daily quoted Ministry of Commerce researcher Zhou Mi as saying the United States had abused national security reviews to block Chinese investment in the United States and the administration's intervention had become "increasingly frequent and direct".

He added that Trump and Xi have a "very close relationship" and that the United States and China would continue to discuss trade issues.

Trump increased levies on Chinese imports last week over allegations China has been ripping off US technology for its own gains.

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks about taxation reform in a trip to White Sulphur Springs, in West Virginia, " U.S., April 5, 2018. Amid falling markets, President Donald Trump's new economic adviser, Larry Kudlow, says there is no trade war between the USA and China.

The stock market enjoys a day of gains as investors warm to the idea that most of the back-and-forth between Beijing and Washington is nothing but talk.

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China Focus: US protectionism to hurt interests of its own