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China urges U.S. makes 'wise choice' ahead of tariffs decision

Reuters  |  BEIJING/WASHINGTON 

By and David Lawder

BEIJING/(Reuters) - urged the on Thursday to make a "wise decision" on trade, saying it was ready to respond in case chose confrontation, as U.S. prepares to decide whether to activate tariffs on Chinese goods.

is due to unveil revisions to his initial tariff list targeting $50 billion of Chinese goods on Friday. People familiar with the revisions said the list would be slightly smaller than the original, with some goods deleted and others added, particularly in the

Another said a draft document showed the new list would still be close to $50 billion, with about 1,300 product categories, but both the dollar amount and quantity of products were still subject to change.

Speaking to reporters in Beijing, with U.S. at his side, the Chinese government's top said there were two choices when it came to the trade issue.

"The first choice is cooperation and mutual benefit. The other choice is confrontation and mutual loss. chooses the first," Wang said. "We hope the U.S. side can also make the same wise choice. Of course, we have also made preparations to respond to the second kind of choice."

The move toward activating U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods follows negotiations between U.S. and Chinese officials centred on increased purchases by of American farm and and cutting the U.S. trade deficit with

this month met Chinese officials in and brought back a Chinese proposal to buy around $70 billion worth of additional commodities and manufactured goods. But that offer has not been accepted by Trump, people familiar with the matter said.

Wang said a basic consensus reached by the two countries during the recent talks was a pact to use "constructive means" to handle disagreements.

"We hope the U.S. side can meet China halfway and earnestly implement this important consensus, and promote the appropriate resolution of the relevant issue through a win-win and not lose-lose manner," he said.

"In this process, we hope the U.S. side does not unilaterally take any non-constructive actions, and does not create new obstacles for the next phase of consultations."

Pompeo said the U.S. deficit with China was still too high, but that they had had good talks.

"I stressed how important it is for to rectify that situation so that trade becomes more balanced, more reciprocal and more fair, with the opportunity to have American workers be treated fairly. We had good and constructive discussions."

MOVE COULD COME FRIDAY

It remains unclear when would activate the tariffs, if he decides to do so. Several industry lobbyists told they expected the move to come as early as Friday, with publication of a Federal Register notice, or it could be put off until next week.

If adopts tariffs, is expected to hit back with its own duties on U.S. imports, including soybeans, cars, and planes, according to a list it released in early April.

Under the 1974 that Trump invoked to pursue a tariff investigation into China's intellectual property practices, he could delay the activation by 30 days. He can also delay the tariffs by another 180 days if the U.S. Trade Representative's office finds negotiations with China are yielding progress.

"The president's trade team has recommended tariffs. If there are not tariffs, it will be because the has decided that he's not ready to implement tariffs," a person familiar with the administration's deliberations told

But that recommendation came prior to Trump's trip late last week to for the leaders' summit and to for talks with North Korean leader to defuse a nuclear standoff on the

Trump returned to Washington early on Wednesday morning. In an interview aired on Wednesday, Trump told that he was "very strongly clamping down on trade" with China.

Asked how strong, Trump said: "Well, I think very strongly. I mean you'll see over the next couple of weeks. They understand what we are doing."

Trump did not specifically mention the tariffs and added that he had "a very good relationship with President (Jinping) of China."

The administration's trade hawks, including U.S. and trade and adviser Peter Navarro, have advocated a tougher approach to address U.S. allegations that China has misappropriated American intellectual property through joint venture requirements, state-backed acquisitions of U.S. and outright theft.

Amid the rising trade tension, China's said Chinese exporters have been front-loading their shipments due to changes in the international trade environment.

(Additional reporting by in WASHINGTON; Writing by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)

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

First Published: Thu, June 14 2018. 17:51 IST
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