Forget China: US jumps headlong into trade war with allies


US President Donald Trump is concerned about China's unfair trade practices and striving to stop Beijing from such practices and theft of American intellectual property, the White House said on May 31.

The tariffs and investment restrictions, as well as a case brought by the USA against China before the World Trade Organization, are the outcome of an investigation the U.S. launched previous year into intellectual property practices in China. Trump, facing criticism from some in Congress for cozying up to Beijing, on Tuesday renewed his threat to impose the tariffs on China.

Mexico came out swinging after the announcement, immediately announcing that they will meet the metals tariffs with duties of their own on USA imports including pork bellies, fruit, cheeses and flat steel.

"Personnel exchanges are the foundation to boost cooperation in all fields between China and the United States".

"We believe that when it comes to the problems in Sino-U.S. trade and business both sides should take a honest attitude in the spirit of equality and mutual respect to use dialogue and consultations to seek a mutually beneficial win-win solution". He's also made a habit of threatening unilateral action to try to gain leverage in trade disputes.

China has announced that it would cut tariffs sharply on July 1 for an eclectic array of imported goods, the latest in a series of moves by Beijing to dismantle steep trade barriers at a time of rising frictions with the United States.

China's Ministry of Commerce said the US move was a surprise and contrary to the consensus reached between the countries.

"These meetings will take place from June 2 through June 3, and are a continuation of the talks held in Beijing one month ago and in Washington two weeks ago", the White House said in a statement.

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Investors monitor stock prices at a securities company in Shanghai, May 30.

The briefing particularly pointed out imbalances in auto trade, arguing that the US charged a 2.5 percent tariff on Chinese cars while China's tariff on USA cars was 25 percent.

It urged act in accordance with the spirit of recent bilateral joint statement.

This weekend's trade talks come as Washington is engaged in fragile negotiations towards what would be a historic summit between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, whose main diplomatic backer is China.

China responded by targeting $50 billion in US products, including soybeans - a shot at Trump supporters in America's heartland.

In December, China cut import taxes on nearly 200 consumer products including food, health supplements, pharmaceuticals, garments, and recreational goods to 7.7 percent, on average, from 17.3 percent, according to the finance ministry.

Hua gave no indication of whether Beijing planned to act on its own threat to retaliate by raising duties on a $50 billion list of American goods including beef and soybeans. The two countries have not yet implemented their tariff increases.