China presses Europe for anti-U.S. alliance on trade

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It is an unusually rapid move for a trade case, coming less than one week after the US Trade Representative announced the tariff plan, which wouldn't take effect until at least September.

"It is the common duty of Europe and China, but also America and Russian Federation, not to destroy [the global trade order] but to improve it, not to start trade wars which have turned into hot conflicts so often in our history", added Tusk, who was in Beijing for a summit between European Union and Chinese leaders.

Lighthizer argues that instead of working with the Trump administration to address a common problem, some US trading partners have chosen to retaliate with tariffs aimed at punishing American workers, farmers and companies.

Meanwhile, a research institute at the elite Tsinghua University, which has close ties to the state, released a report in July analyzing "trade strategies" in the U.S.

US Trade Representatives Robert Lighthizer said retaliatory duties on US exports imposed by China, the EU, Canada, Mexico and Turkey were completely without justification under global rules.

"This is why I am calling on our Chinese hosts, but also on presidents Trump and Putin, to jointly start this process from a thorough reform of the WTO (World Trade Organisation)", Mr Tusk said.

After Mr Trump imposed trade tariffs on over 800 Chinese goods, worth some £28billion, Beijing promised to strike back dollar for dollar.

If the USA goes ahead with tariffs on $250 billion, the hit to China's growth could mean a drag of 0.3 percentage point, according to Morgan Stanley.

The Mexican government said in a statement that it will look at the USA request with the goal of answering it in the next 10 days. The Mexican government promised to continue to defend its national interest.

EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom, who is responsible for negotiations to resolve a dispute with the USA over metal tariffs, pointed to a decline in EU investments in China and cited "a broad range of barriers" facing companies on both accessing the Chinese market and operating in the country.

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China's economic growth slowed in the quarter ending in June, adding to challenges for Beijing as its tariff battle with Washington escalates.

The second-quarter data weighed on markets around Asia, adding to investor concerns about the impact of the Sino-U.S. trade war on economic growth in China and the rest of the world.

China needs to advance investment treaty negotiations with the European Union and both should share the objective of concluding agreements at an early date, Premier Li said.

Last month, U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said the U.S. tariffs against Canada and other allies were created to force them into action to address the world's overproduction and overcapacity of steel.

On this front, Ottawa feels it has more work to do.

Likewise, China has been in the crosshairs of Trump's tariff threats for months.

The unprecedented, cross-border tensions have presented big challenges for the Canada-U.S. trading relationship.

Long accused of protectionist tactics that make it a hard place for foreign firms to operate, China is trying to reverse that narrative amid the escalating trade war by approving huge investments, such as a US$10 billion petrochemicals project by Germany's BASF.

There are widespread warnings that levies on the highly integrated Canada-U.S. auto sector would be far more damaging for the economy than the duties on steel and aluminum. Hearings on the proposed auto tariffs are set for Thursday and Friday in Washington.

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