US ‘disappointed’ as China releases ‘white paper’ on unfair trade practices
Washington is disappointed with China for issuing “White Paper” yesterday and recent public statements to pursue a blame game misrepresenting the nature and history of trade negotiations between the two countries.
The United States Treasury Department on Tuesday said that
The Department, in a statement, said: “President Donald Trump is committed to taking action to address the unfair trade practices that China has engaged in for decades, which have contributed to persistent and unsustainable trade deficits, almost USD 420 billion last year, and have caused severe harm to American workers, farmers, ranchers, and businesses.”
The statement said that in August 2017, at the President’s instruction, the United States Trade Representative (USTR) conducted an investigation into China’s practices relating to intellectual property rights, innovation, and technology development.
After receiving and considering extensive hearing testimony and other evidence over an investigation that lasted seven months, the United States issued a 200-page report in March 2018 documenting how China had engaged in unfair trade practices, including forced technology transfer, failed to protect American intellectual property rights, and conducted and supported cyber-theft from American companies, robbing them of sensitive commercial information and trade secrets, the statement read.
Based on these findings, the President directed his Administration to take effective action to address China’s harmful and distortive actions under both US law and any applicable international agreements, it added.
The Department also noted that the President directed the USTR to challenge China’s unfair trade practices at the World Trade Organisation but also to impose tariffs on China to offset the damage to US industry caused by China’s conduct.
In response, rather than working constructively to address our concerns, China doubled down and retaliated by imposing unjustified tariffs on American exports, and the United States responded with additional tariffs, the Department added.
After Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed to launch the current negotiations in Buenos Aires in December 2018, the US postponed for 90 days the increase in tariffs on Chinese imports that were scheduled to come into effect on January 1, 2019, the statement said.
The President extended the deadline again in March because the parties appeared to be making progress in their talks. Following months of hard work and candid and constructive discussions, the parties had reached agreement on a number of important matters.
In wrapping up the final important issues, however, the Chinese moved away from previously agreed-upon provisions.
In response to this Chinese backtracking, the United States moved forward with the previously-announced rate increase on Chinese imports and announced tariffs on additional Chinese imports, it read.
“Our negotiating positions have been consistent throughout these talks, and China back-pedaled on important elements of what the parties had agreed to. One such position was the need for enforceability, a position necessitated by China’s history of making commitments that it fails to keep,” it said.
It added, “But our insistence on detailed and enforceable commitments from the Chinese in no way constitutes a threat to Chinese sovereignty. Rather, the issues discussed are common to trade agreements and are necessary to address the systemic issues that have contributed to persistent and unsustainable trade deficits.”
On Sunday, China reportedly released a government white paper of more than 5,000 words on its trade talks with the US and Vice-Minister of Commerce Wang Shouwen held a press conference to discuss the matter that day.
The China-US commercial relationship serves as both the ballast and the propeller of the overall bilateral relationship.
At stake are the fundamental interests of the two peoples, and the prosperity and stability of the world, according to the white paper released by the State Council Information Office.
Beijing and Washington are at loggerheads ever since talks between the world’s two largest economies to end trade tensions failed earlier this month.
The US increased tariffs on Chinese goods amounting to over USD 200 billion even as the two sides were in the midst of negotiations.
In retaliation, China increased duties on USD 60 billion worth US imports from June 1. Chinese students and academics were also asked to assess the risks involved given the tightened visa rules.
On Tuesday, the country, in an unusual move, issued a travel warning for its citizens visiting the United States. (ANI)