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China says trade war with US will bring disaster to global economy

12 March 2018, 02:44 | Darnell Patrick

China says trade war with US will bring disaster to global economy

Chinese Commerce Minister Zhong Shan

Any trade war with the United States will only bring disaster to the world economy, Chinese Commerce Minister Zhong Shan has said, as the European Union and Japan call for exemptions from metal tariffs, an ABC News report said on Sunday.

CHINA'S commerce minister said today that Beijing and Washington are still holding economic talks as he warned that a trade war would harm both nations.

Zhong told reporters after the National People's Congress on Sunday that there would be no victor in a trade war.

Zhong added that the USA trade deficit with China is overestimated by about 20 percent, citing research by a panel tasked with investigating the discrepancy between the two nations' accounts of their trade balance. He temporarily exempted Mexico and Canada from the tariffs.

Trade tensions between the world's two biggest economies intensified last week as President Donald J. Trump signed orders for stiff tariffs on steel and aluminum and indicated more actions are potentially on the way.

Zhong said U.S. official trade deficit figures had been over-estimated by about 20 percent, and in any case would be a lot lower if the United States relaxed export restrictions on some high-tech goods.

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China's trade surplus with the United States grew 13 percent year on year to 1.87 trillion yuan last year, official data showed.

USA officials have said such sales would make up only a few percent of the deficit while possibly threatening American national security.

Liu He, Chinese President Xi Jinping's top economic adviser, visited Washington earlier this month in an attempt to smooth strained ties.

The tariffs are considered to be targeted at China due to the country's production of global surpluses of steel.

China absorbed $136.3 billion in foreign investment a year ago.

The ministry will continue to control FDI, he said, while at the same time encouraging companies with strength and credibility to explore the worldwide market and improve their ability in transnational operations. "The fact that they have complaints indicates that they are still paying attention to China's development and have confidence in China's market". 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.



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