How Badly Is Trump's Trade War Hurting China?

Irving Hamilton
October 11, 2018

"We've got to benefit also, OK?" said the president during his farewell meeting with Nikki Haley, the USA ambassador to the United Nations who announced her resignation yesterday.

Meeting at the Diaoyutai Guest House, Wang told Pompeo that the United States has "stepped up rhetoric over trade tensions" after a raft of tit-for-tat tariffs on billion of dollars in U.S. and Chinese goods. We've got to make it a two way street.

"Recently, as the United States side has been constantly escalating trade friction toward China, it has also adopted a series of actions on the Taiwan issue that harm China's rights and interests, and has made groundless criticism of China's domestic and foreign policies", Wang said at a press conference.

President Donald Trump on Tuesday repeated his threat to slap tariffs on an additional $267 billion (203 billion pounds) of Chinese imports if Beijing retaliates for the recent levies and other measures the United States has imposed in an escalating trade war between the economic giants.

"As we look at trade issues there is no question that we want to make sure China is not doing competitive devaluations", Treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin said in an interview with the Financial Times published on Wednesday.

Pompeo and Foreign Minister Wang Yi highlighted the schism after the chief U.S. diplomat arrived in Beijing on the final leg of an Asian trip focused on North Korea's nuclear issue.

Trump has frequently criticised China for his belief that Beijing is artificially weakening its currency to make Chinese exports more competitive, something he believes Beijing is doing to hurt the U.S. economy.

Pompeo and Wang openly disagreed over which side had called off a two-way security dialogue that had been planned in Beijing this month.

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To this, Mr Wang rejoined: "Actually I would like to add that the strategic dialogue was not called off by the Chinese".

The two diplomats had warmer words regarding efforts to curb North Korea's nuclear ambitions.

Pompeo said he expected to have "good, candid, frank conversations" with Wang about his meeting on Sunday with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Pyongyang.

In response, President Trump said he has cancelled several scheduled meetings with Chinese officials.

If ties between the two countries continued to deteriorate, there could be "profound changes" in the strategic environment for such regional issues as North Korea, China's state-backed Global Times tabloid warned in an editorial.

"The US should not underestimate China's resolve and will".

While this was discussed by the two sides, bilateral issues appeared to have overshadowed it.

After spending about five hours in Beijing, Pompeo headed for the airport to return to Washington.

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