China doesn’t want trade war with US: Commerce Minister

Beijing: China does not want a trade war with the US and will not start one, but can handle any related challenges and will defend national and the Chinese people’s interests, Minister of Commerce Zhong Shan said on Sunday.

Trade wars leave no winners, only disastrous outcomes for the two countries and the rest of the world, Zhong told a press conference on the sidelines of the first session of the 13th National People’s Congress.

US President Donald Trump’s administration has decided to impose 25 per cent tariffs on steel imports and 10 per cent on aluminium, with initial exemptions for Canada and Mexico, saying such results could be made for other countries through negotiations, reports Xinhua news agency.

Zhong pointed out that different statistical methods widen US trade deficit with China by around 20 per cent, citing the research of a joint work group tracking and comparing the two countries’ trade figures.

China’s trade surplus with the United States grew 13 per cent year on year to 1.87 trillion yuan last year, official data showed.

Trade imbalance between the two countries is structural, with China exporting more commodities to the US while importing more services, Zhong said, adding that trade competitiveness is determined by industries.

US control of high-tech exports to China also contributed to bilateral trade imbalance, Zhong said, quoting American research report which estimated a 35 per cent fall in trade deficit with China if Washington relaxed export restrictions.

Zhong said the two countries have different demands in opening up markets in financial, telecom, automobile, produce and other sectors due to different national conditions.

The two sides have not halted economic dialogues and will continue the exchanges, the minister stressed.

}