Breaking News
0

U.S. pressing China to cut trade surplus by $100 billion: White House

PoliticsMar 14, 2018 11:11PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This article has already been saved in your Saved Items
 
© Reuters. Containers are seen at the Yangshan Deep Water Port, part of the Shanghai Free Trade Zone, in Shanghai

By David Lawder

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Trump administration is pressing China to cut its trade surplus with the United States by $100 billion, a White House spokeswoman said on Wednesday, clarifying a tweet last week from President Donald Trump.

Last Wednesday, Trump tweeted that China had been asked to develop a plan to reduce its trade imbalance with the United States by $1 billion, but the spokeswoman said Trump had meant to say $100 billion.

The United States had a record $375 billion trade deficit with China in 2017, which made up two thirds of a global $566 billion U.S. trade gap last year, according to U.S. Census Bureau data.

China reported its 2017 U.S. trade surplus as $276 billion, also about two thirds of its reported global surplus of $422.5 billion.

The White House spokeswoman declined to provide details about how the administration would like China to accomplish the surplus-cutting goal -- whether increased purchases of U.S. products such as soybeans or aircraft would suffice, or whether it wants China to make major changes to its industrial policies, cut subsidies to state-owned enterprises or further reduce steel and aluminum capacity.

The request comes as the Trump administration is said to be preparing tariffs on imports of up to $60 billion worth of Chinese information technology, telecoms and consumer products as part of a U.S. investigation into China's intellectual property practices.

It is also unclear if the requested $100 billion reduction would address U.S. complaints about China's investment policies that effectively require U.S. firms to transfer technology to Chinese joint venture partners in order to gain market access.

The issue is a core part of the probe being conducted under Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974, a provision seldom invoked since the World Trade Organization was founded in 1995. Trade experts have said tariffs imposed as a result of the China intellectual property probe may fall outside of WTO rules.

In a Thursday editorial, widely-read Chinese state-run tabloid the Global Times said the United States was trying to play the victim.

"If the U.S. wants to reduce its trade deficit, it has to make Americans more hard-working and conduct reforms in accordance with international market demand, instead of asking the rest of the world to change," it wrote.

"Once a trade war starts, capable countries won't bow to the U.S. China has tried hard to avoid a trade war, but if one breaks out, appeasement is not an option."

U.S. TARGETS INDIAN SUBSIDIES

But Washington showed on Wednesday that it has not abandoned the global trade body, launching a WTO legal challenge to India's export subsidies for domestic companies, including producers of steel, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, textiles and IT products.

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said India had failed to remove the subsidies as required by WTO rules after the country reached certain economic benchmarks.

The United States is expected to invoke a national security exception to WTO rules in imposing import tariffs of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum announced by Trump last week.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross told lawmakers on Wednesday his department would soon publish procedures for product-specific exemptions from the steel tariffs for items that are not available from domestic producers or in short supply. The procedures are due by Sunday.

Anne Forristall Luke, president of the U.S. Tire Manufacturers Association, said the group would be "pressing very hard" for an exemption from tariffs for high-strength wire rod used to make cord for steel tire belts that is not produced by U.S. mills.

The largest sources for the material are Japan and Brazil, she said, adding that U.S. tire producers will lose business to foreign competitors if their steel costs rise.

"We are working this from the product side and the country side. We think we have a very good case," she told Reuters.

U.S. pressing China to cut trade surplus by $100 billion: White House
 

Recommended

Add a Comment

Comment Guidelines

We encourage you to use comments to engage with users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind: 

  • Enrich the conversation
  • Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed.
  • Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically.
  •  Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases.
  • NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and links within a comment will be removed
  • Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user.
  • Don’t Monopolize the Conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also believe strongly in giving everyone a chance to air their thoughts. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
  • Only English comments will be allowed.

Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at Investing.com’s discretion.

Write your thoughts here
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
Post also to:
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Thanks for your comment. Please note that all comments are pending until approved by our moderators. It may therefore take some time before it appears on our website.
Comments
Holly Sorensen
Holly Sorensen Mar 14, 2018 11:31AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
Trump needs to be removed
Reply
1 0
Ali Karadag
Ali Karadag Mar 14, 2018 11:31AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
Nope bro he is doing a fine job smashing the whole world economy to trash. I'm shorting all indexes right now and its hilarious :)
Reply
1 0
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Add Chart to Comment
Confirm Block

Are you sure you want to block %USER_NAME%?

By doing so, you and %USER_NAME% will not be able to see any of each other's Investing.com's posts.

%USER_NAME% was successfully added to your Block List

Since you’ve just unblocked this person, you must wait 48 hours before renewing the block.

Report this comment

I feel that this comment is:

Comment flagged

Thank You!

Your report has been sent to our moderators for review
Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.
Continue with Google
or
Sign up with Email