China issues its own trade warnings
The United States has continued to turn the trade screw on some of its closest partners, as President Donald Trump presses forward with his America First agenda. If asked, it would be fair to say most of the United States' closest allies felt sanctions were unlikely to come into play and were merely to be seen as a campaign pledge made by a candidate looking to tap into a disenfranchised voter. And yet, here we are, living in a world where even Canada will have to get in line.
China, one of the United States largest trading partners has been very vocal about its reservations regarding new US trading sanctions. Just a few days ago, Washington threatened to impose extra tariffs on over £37bn worth of Chinese goods despite the US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross visiting Vice Premier Liu He in Beijing to discuss a boost to US imports.
The President later tweeted the US had been "ripped off by other countries for years on trade", pointing to other comments he made about steel tariffs, which once imposed will protect US steelmakers, which he says are vital to national security.
His use of social platforms isn’t going unnoticed in Beijing, with state media warning any trade sanctions imposed will void any trade talks currently being discussed. State news agency Xinhua echoed the sentiments, warning of the long-term limitations created by an international trade war.
"Reform and opening up and expanding domestic demand are China's national strategies. Our established rhythm will not change," it said.
"If the United States introduces trade sanctions including tariffs, all the economic and trade achievements negotiated by the two parties will be void."
The spat has been linked to last month's talks in Washington, which clearly show the rates offered by Beijing were not enough for the Trump administration. With the US pursuing 25% tariffs on £37bn worth of Chinese imports, any trade agreement for now looks a distant possibility.