Beijing to slash import barriers on range of consumer goods


European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker said on Thursday that "each time I think of Trump, I am lost", while EU trade commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom said that the tariffs would further harm transatlantic ties.

"Every flip-flop and U-turn of a country will be simply depleting and squandering its own credibility", Hua said at a regular briefing.

The White House is still in the process of detailing separate China-specific tariffs, announcing earlier this week that it will publish a list of "industrially significant technology" goods that will fall under the tariffs, later in June.

It was not clear if the developments would have any impact on the planned visit to China by Ross.

Mr Christopher Rogers, a trade analyst at Panjiva, an worldwide commerce data firm recently acquired by S&P Global Market Intelligence, estimated that the tariff cuts would cover about 1.1 per cent of China's US$1.95 trillion in annual imports.

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"We are alienating all of our friends and partners at a time when we could really use their support", added Wendy Cutler, a former USA trade negotiator who is now vice president at the Asia Society Policy Institute.

The Trump administration may soon claim as much as $1.7 billion penalty from ZTE Corp (000063.SZ), as it looks to punish and tighten control over the Chinese telecommunications company before allowing it back into business, according to people familiar with the matter.

Ross was scheduled to meet with Liu again on Sunday.

"Trump is insane. crazy tactics might work, though", the person added.

"I don't think it is only a tactic, personally", he told reporters on Wednesday, adding that the group does not view tariffs as the best way to address the trade frictions.

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While Trump campaigned heavily on taking bold steps against perceived foul play in global trade by China, those set to suffer the most from the new tariffs will be Canada, Mexico and the European Union, who exported $23 billion worth of steel and aluminum to the US previous year.

"The thinking became that if the United States doesn't have any leverage and there is no pressure on our Chinese friends, then we will not have serious negotiations".

Beijing has pledged to take steps to increase imports amid rising tensions with some of its biggest trade partners, the United States chief among them. On Tuesday, Trump renewed his threat to place 25 percent tariffs on $50 billion of Chinese goods, in retaliation for what his administration says are China's unfair trade practices.

But ZTE's possible resuscitation has met strong resistance in Congress, where both Democrats and Trump's fellow Republicans have accused him of bowing to pressure from Beijing to help a company that has been labeled a threat to USA national security.

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