China on Monday said trade talks with the United States were impossible under the current circumstances and said Washington is to blame for the trade war between the two countries, Reuters reported.
Earlier this month, Beijing imposed tariffs on 128 American products worth around $3 billion in response to the US imposing duties on steel and aluminium imports from China as part of Trump’s “America First” policy. China later announced an increase in tariff on $50 billion worth of American goods as the US announced to raise tariffs on Chinese goods.
“Up to now, Chinese and US officials have not held any negotiations on the trade dispute,” China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said, according to AFP. “Under the current conditions, it is impossible for the two sides to have any negotiations on this issue.”
The ministry’s statement came after US President Donald Trump on Sunday said that China will take down its trade barriers “because it is the right thing to do”. Suggesting that the escalating tensions between Washington and Beijing will come to an end soon, Trump said, “Taxes will become reciprocal and a deal will be made on intellectual property. Great future for both countries!” The Asian markets surged on Monday after Trump’s optimistic tweet.
However, Geng said: “The United States with one hand wields the threat of sanctions, and at the same time says they are willing to talk. I’m not sure who the United States is putting on this act for.”
Soon after China made the statement, Trump tweeted against China’s duties on US cars. “When a car is sent to the United States from China, there is a tariff to be paid of 2.5%,” he said. “When a car is sent to China from the United States, there is a tariff to be paid of 25%. Does that sound like free or fair trade. No, it sounds like STUPID TRADE – going on for years!”
While Washington’s list is filled with a number of obscure industrial products, China’s list contains a number of important US export items, including soybeans, frozen beef, cotton and other agricultural commodities that are produced in states such as Iowa and Texas, which voted for Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential elections.