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China puts off licenses for US companies amid tariff battle

AP  |  Beijing 

Amid a worsening battle, is putting off accepting from American companies in and other industries until makes progress toward a settlement, a group says.

The disclosure Tuesday is the first public confirmation of U.S. companies' fears that their operations in or access to its markets might be disrupted by the battle over Beijing's

is running out of American imports for penalties in response to Donald Trump's hikes, which has prompted worries regulators might target operations of US companies.

The license delay applies to industries has promised to open to foreign competitors, according to Jacob Parker, vice for China operations of the Council. The group represents some 200 American companies that do with China.

In meetings over the past three weeks, Cabinet-level officials told USCBC representatives they are putting off accepting applications "until the trajectory of the U.S.-China relationship improves and stabilizes," Parker said.

Chinese authorities have promised to increase foreign access to areas including banking, securities, insurance and

"There seem to be domestic political pressures that are working against the perception of U.S. companies receiving benefits" during the dispute, Parker said. As for what improvement might entail, Parker said Chinese officials want an end to Trump's hikes and a negotiated settlement. He declined to identify the officials but, in a sign wants foreign companies to help lobby Washington, said the meetings represented "unprecedented access" for his group.

matched Trump's earlier tariff increase on USD 50 billion of imports but is running out of American goods for retaliation due to their lopsided trade balance. China bought American goods worth about USD 1 for every USD 3 of goods it exported to the

Trump is poised to decide whether to raise duties on $200 billion of Chinese goods. Beijing has issued a USD 60 billion list of goods for retaliation.

A foreign ministry spokesman, Geng Shuang, said Monday that China will "definitely take countermeasures" if the tariff hike goes ahead.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, September 12 2018. 17:15 IST