China blamed U.S. export restrictions for its record trade surplus with the United States, but expressed hope that a solution can be found to settle trade issues between the world’s two biggest economies as U.S. tariffs loom.
Beijing was bracing on Thursday for an announcement from U.S. President Donald Trump of tariffs of as much as $60 billion on Chinese imports, raising fears that the two countries could be sliding towards a trade war.
The tariffs will be imposed under Section 301 of the 1974 U.S. Trade Act, focusing on Chinese high-tech goods. Trump says Beijing has forced U.S. firms to transfer their intellectual property to China as a cost of doing business there.
Washington is also pressing China to reduce its staggering $375 billion trade surplus with the United States by $100 billion.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said it was unfair to throw around criticism about unfair trade if the United States won’t sell to China what it wants to buy, referring to U.S. export controls on some high-tech products.