China hints at taking retaliatory measures against USA tariffs

Georg Schaeffler and Elisabeth Schaeffler Thumann

A Chinese parliamentary spokesman said Sunday a proposed removal of the country's presidential term limit is in line with the way the ruling Communist Party and a top military body are already being governed.

It is "a new type of party system growing from China's soil", said Xi, also general secretary of the CPC Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, when attending a joint panel discussion with political advisors from two non-communist parties, those without party affiliation and those from the sector of returned overseas Chinese, at the first session of the 13th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC).

Although China is the largest producer of steel in the world, it accounts for less than one percent of USA imports, while steel producers in Canada, Brazil, Mexico, South Korea and Turkey rely more heavily on the USA market.

Speaking to journalists ahead of the annual sitting of the Chinese legislature, Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Yesui responded to U.S. President Donald Trump's moves to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.

Trump's announcement on Thursday sparked a flurry of counter-threats from other nations but its main trade rival, China, had avoided any overt warnings of potential retaliation until now.

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However, he insisted that cooperation was the only way to resolve those differences, citing the example of Chinese top economic adviser Liu He's visit to Washington this week for a series of meetings with U.S. government officials.

The move to limit steel and aluminum imports by the Trump administration would do a great disservice to multilateral trade mechanisms - such as those set up by the World Trade Organization - and deal a severe blow to existing order in worldwide trade, Wang said.

Steel producers in Canada, Brazil, Mexico, South Korea and Turkey rely far more heavily on the United States market. A U.S. official said Friday no countries will be exempt, but added that possible exemptions to the measures would be considered on a case-by-case basis. European Union officials said they would retaliate with new tariffs on USA goods, including Harley-Davidson motorbikes, bourbon whiskey and Levi's jeans.

Trump ratched up the rhetoric on Saturday, threatening a tax on cars from the European Union if it enacts retaliatory measures.


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