China welcomes United States trade talks offer as new tariffs loom

Glen Norman
September 17, 2018

"They all found it very incredible how our specific industry has so much product. on the list and we were able to open up how that affects our industry as a whole", said Tiffany Zarfas Williams who owns the Luggage Shop in Lubbock, Texas.

The campaign will kick off with events in Chicago, Nashville, Pennsylvania and OH next week, the statement said, adding that additional events will take place in September and October in key communities throughout the heartland.

"While we agree that there are issues that need to be addressed with key trading partners, tariffs are the wrong approach to bring about meaningful change", the groups wrote in a letter Wednesday to House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.

However, the last round of talks, between mid-level USA and Chinese officials in August, failed to reach any agreement. Trump imposed his first phase of tariffs this summer on USD 50 billion of Chinese goods, including high-end technology parts and manufactured goods, while Beijing fired back dollar-for-dollar at United States soybeans, autos and other farm goods.

"Trump wants to show (Congress) and companies that object to the proposed tariffs that he is a reasonable man, willing to negotiate before taking action", Hufbauer told China Daily.

Such a meeting could take place in Washington or Beijing, according to informed sources.

Commenting on the timing of the offer of talks, Jon Taylor, a professor of political science at the University of St. Thomas in Houston, said the invitation looks an "awful lot" like a pre-election move.

But he cautioned: "I guarantee nothing". The administration has a list of $200 billion in additional goods targeted for duties that could be imposed at any time, and Trump has threatened to hit virtually all products from China.

Also Thursday, the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China said one in six of its members that responded to a survey are delaying investment or expansion.

More than 60 percent of the 430 USA companies polled said the tariffs were already affecting their business operations, while a similar percentage said Chinese duties on USA goods were having an impact on business.

Roughly a third of firms are shifting supply chains out of China or the United States, and an equal proportion are delaying or cancelling investment decisions, the survey showed.

China will closely monitor the impact from any fresh tariffs and adopt strong measures to help Chinese or foreign firms operating in China to overcome difficulties, said Gao.

The latest round of negotiations comes as the Trump administration prepares to impose additional tariffs on $200 (£152bn) of Chinese goods.

"Chinese customers just see too much uncertainty around buying American and as a result they shift to alternatives", Beebe told the news agency AFP.

More than 430 companies responded to the survey between August 29 and September 5, which Ken Jarrett, president of AmCham Shanghai, said had been conducted in part to provide AmCham with data for meetings with members of congress later this month.

The trade associations launching the anti-tariff campaign represent thousands of American workers potentially impacted by the trade war, including toy makers, fashion designers, grocers, whiskey distillers, the petroleum industry and others. More than half of firms say they are already feeling Beijing's wrath, with 27 percent reporting increased inspections, 19 percent feeling heightened regulatory scrutiny and 23 percent witnessing slower customs clearance.

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