Donald Trump Administration says encouraged by Xi Jinping’s remarks but want concrete steps to avert new tariff

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Washington | Updated: April 11, 2018 11:53:38 AM

The US today welcomed Chinese President Xi Jinping's remarks to open up his country's market, but ruled out reversing President Donald Trump's 25 per cent import tariffs worth USD 50 billion on Chinese products, saying America wants "concrete actions" from China.

Donald Trump, Trump Administration, Xi Jinping, trade war, tariff war, US China trade war, trade war between us and china, us trade war with china, trade war with china, us and china trade war, us trade war, china trade war, trump trade warUS President Donald Trump, right, and Chinese President Xi Jinping gesture to each other during a welcome ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. (AP)

The US today welcomed Chinese President Xi Jinping’s remarks to open up his country’s market, but ruled out reversing President Donald Trump’s 25 per cent import tariffs worth USD 50 billion on Chinese products, saying America wants “concrete actions” from China. In his keynote address at the Boao Forum for Asia yesterday, Xi pledged to lower auto import tariffs, protect the intellectual property of foreign companies and further open the world’s second largest economy. “China’s door of opening up will not be closed and will only open wider,” Xi said. “Certainly, we are encouraged by President Xi’s words, his kind words. But at the same time, we want to see concrete actions from China, and we’re going to continue moving forward in the process and in the negotiations until those happen,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters at her daily news conference.

The White House remarks came after Trump praised Xi for his remarks. “Very thankful for President Xi of China’s kind words on tariffs and automobile barriers…also, his enlightenment on intellectual property and technology transfers. We will make great progress together!” Trump tweeted. The statements from both leaders follow a week of escalating tariff threats sparked by US’ concern over China’s trade and intellectual property policies, worrying financial markets over potential damage to global growth.

The world’s top two economies had edged towards an all-out trade war after Trump administration last week published a list of about 1,300 Chinese exports worth USD 50 billion that could be hit by US tariffs because of Beijing’s alleged theft of intellectual property and technology. China in a retaliatory measure, decided to impose additional tariff of 25 per cent on 106 products under 14 categories worth USD 50 billion. China has already slapped tariffs on 128 US products, including wine and pork, totalling to USD 3 billion in retaliation to Trump’s move to impose tariffs on steel and aluminium. The US State Department also hailed Xi’s remarks.

“We’ve been clear with the Chinese government in areas that are of concern to US workers, US companies, and the overall trade balance. We have had those conversations with them, so I think we’re looking like we’re in a better place,” said State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert. “What we may be seeing is China coming to terms with some of our concerns about unfair trade practices and the United States saying ‘we stand by to engage with you, the government of China and President Xi on that matter'”, she said.

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