China's No. 2 leader appealed Wednesday for support for free trade and promised to improve conditions for foreign companies following tit-for-tat US and Chinese tariff hikes in a battle over Beijing's technology policy.
"That helps partly explain why Trump is aiming to lift the tariff rate to 25% on the $US200 billion tranche of Chinese goods next year". The 25 percent tariffs that Trump imposed on imported washing machines in January quickly translated into sticker shock for shoppers.
The US taxes are targeting Chinese goods that Washington says have benefited from improper industrial policies. "I urge China's leaders to take swift action to end their country's unfair trade practices". "We have a tremendous trade imbalance with China, tremendous trade deficit".
The congressman said he "believes deeply in free trade" and has been "vocally opposed to the president's approach on the tariffs subject from the very beginning".
Responding to a question on his announcement of trade tariffs against China, Trump said, "It got to a point where the numbers were too big".
The administration also has taken steps to discourage Chinese investment in the United States.
Trump added that many of those workers back his presidency, saying the Chinese tariffs are an attempt to influence US elections.
The US administration has accused China of violating US companies' intellectual property rights and stealing American technology and trade secrets, which hurt the US economy and cost jobs.
Meanwhile, China foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang has accused the United States of bringing "new uncertainty" to trade talks between the world's two largest economies.
While officials said the impact on the U.S. economy has been minimal, firms across the country have reported lost business, layoffs and possible bankruptcies as input costs rise.
He also threatened to impose taxes on virtually all of the remaining goods imported from China, amounting to $267 billion a year if China retaliates rather than changing its trade policies.
Officials from both countries have met four times for formal talks, most recently in August, when Treasury's undersecretary for global affairs, David Malpass, led discussions in Washington with Chinese Vice Minister Wang Shouwen.
"If he does that, we're just headed inevitably for an economic Cold War with China", said economist Gary Hufbauer of the Peterson Institute for International Economics.
China has openly stated that they are actively trying to impact and change our election by attacking our farmers, ranchers and industrial workers due to their loyalty to me.
Even if the Democrats gain control of the Congress in November, Mullay said, lawmakers won't back off from the need to address the trade conflict with China. Congress this year passed legislation, with the backing of the White House, to scrutinize more closely a wider array of potential Chinese acquisitions of American technology companies. Share prices have dipped, only to then resume their growth, in part because of deep corporate tax cuts that took effect this year and a solid USA economy in its 10th straight year of expansion. That would mean the USA measures effectively cover all the goods China sells to the United States each year (the total for 2017 was about $506 billion).
In some ways, China has become the adult at the negotiating table - a supporter of the global trade rules that a Trump-led USA has begun to abandon.