US Secretary of Commerce and trade delegation arrives in Beijing for talks

US Secretary of Commerce and trade delegation arrives in Beijing for talks

US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross and a team of 50 US delegates are to begin talks with Beijing today

2018-05-03T014403Z_1570809754_RC13D78E0020_RTRMADP_3_USA-TRADE-CHINA

Photo: Reuters

US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross and a team of 50 US delegates are to begin talks with Beijing today in an effort to achieve consensus regarding trade and tariffs between the two states.

Breaking an international agreement to put the trade war “on hold”, the US has imposed an additional set of tariffs targeting technology and China’s Made-in-China 2025 program this Tuesday.

The US received harsh criticism from China for going back on its word, leaving potential for today’s talks to be cancelled. If the talks do proceed, the US is likely to use new tech tariffs as leverage to move China away from policies that subsidise its own tech companies and require foreign firms to hand over key technology.

Given the recently failed Ross-EU talks that resulted in new EU tariffs on steel, it is doubtful that the US-China talks will be successful. Beijing has made clear that it is willing to enter a trade war with the US by continuing to impose further tariffs, starting with steel and tech. The final list of US tariffs on Chinese goods will be announced on June 15.