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China Has No Intention of Replacing the US, Foreign Minister Maintains

China Has No Intention of Replacing the US, Foreign Minister Maintains

"China urges the United States to respect the authority of multilateral trade system and withdraw the measures as soon as possible", said Wang Hejun, Director-General of the Trade Remedy and Investigation Bureau.

Trump took to Twitter to say the U.S. had asked China to "develop a plan for the year of a One Billion Dollar reduction in their massive Trade Deficit with the United States".

From Japan and South Korea to Australia and Europe, officials have lined up to seek exemptions from President Donald Trump's tariffs on United States steel and aluminium imports, while Chinese producers called on Beijing to retaliate in kind.

Hiroshige Seko, Japan's trade and industry minister, said at a news conference, "We don't think imports from Japan, an ally, have any effect at all on USA national security". In a globalised world, choosing a trade war is the wrong prescription. But Wang said in a press briefing on the sidelines of the annual National People's Congress session that "China will certainly make an appropriate and necessary response" if the tariffs are put in place.

But combined January-February trade data also showed a dramatic acceleration in export growth.

Other officials at the EU, by far the biggest trading partner of the United States by value, have warned it could take counter-measures including European tariffs on U.S. oranges, tobacco and bourbon.

Exports rose 24.4 percent on-year in Jan-Feb, much better than 10.8 percent in December and 4 percent growth in Jan-Feb last year.

Imports grew 21.7% over the same period, reflective of not only stronger Chinese demand but also higher commodity prices.

"Our relationship with China has been a very good one", Trump tweeted Wednesday.

Capital Economics chief commodities economist Caroline Bain said global markets and USA trading partners were on edge because they feared the new tariffs were the first of many to come, rather than over concerns about the metals sector.

The president is now fighting trade offensives on multiple fronts, from targeting strategic rival China to angering allies like Canada and the European Union with threats to erect fresh barriers.

Premier Li Keqiang said on Monday that China aims to expand its economy by about 6.5% in 2018, the same target that it beat handily in 2017.

Europe has threatened to retaliate with sanctions on US exports of blue jeans, bourbon and Harley-Davidson motorcycles, raising the risk of a potentially destructive trade war. China's JD.com Inc. has agreed to buy $1.2 billion of beef from the Montana Stock Growers Association and pork from Smithfield Foods Inc.as part of a deal by the Chinese online retailer to import $2 billion of US goods. Its success highlights the isolation of the USA under Trump's protectionist rhetoric on trade and his "America first" philosophy.

China's global trade surplus widened to US$33.7 billion from January's US$20.3 billion.

It said the United States "will injure others and harm itself".

Under the most severe scenario being weighed, the USA could impose tariffs on a wide range of Chinese imports, from shoes and clothing to consumer electronics, according to two people familiar with the matter who spoke on condition of anonymity because the discussions aren't public.


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