Pompeo justifies fresh US trade tariffs on China

Pompeo justifies fresh US trade tariffs on China

Bangkok, Aug 2 (IANS) US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Friday justified the announcement of fresh US tariffs on Chinese products and criticized Beijing for backing down on an agreement reached in principle in the latest round of negotiations.

On Thursday, a day after a round of bilateral talks between Washington and Beijing concluded without any agreement, US President Donald Trump announced the imposition of fresh 10 per cent tariffs on Chinese imports valued at $300 billion from September 1.

“For decades China has taken advantage of trade… It’s time for that to stop. President Trump has said we are gonna fix this. And to fix it requires determination,” said Pompeo, who is in Bangkok to attend a meeting of ASEAN nations with world powers.

“What we are asking for is really easy and the Chinese had agreed to it at one point and then they walked away from the deal,” he added.

Pompeo said the negotiations seek to define how trade will develop around the world and questioned countries like China imposing tariffs on US companies that invest in the Asian country while the US remains open.

“Do you want from others fairness, evenness, reciprocity? When that happens, Asia will thrive, Southeast Asia will thrive, the US and global trade system will thrive. But it can’t be the case that a nation uses protectionism to protect its own goods and use predatory tactics to deny other economies the chance to grow,” he said

Pompeo said that the US welcomed foreign investment as long as it did not compromise national security and followed the rules of free competition.

The recent round of interactions in Shanghai were the first high-level talks since Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed to a truce in their trade war at the G20 summit in June, by which the US stopped imposing new tariffs and agreed to allow the sale of tech firm Huawei’s products.

Tensions between the US and China have roots in a trade balance in favour of China, which exports $419 billion worth of goods more than it imports from the North American country, which Trump says is on account of Beijing’s unfair trade practices.

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