USA says China has 'not altered' unfair trade practices

U.S. Trade Rep. Robert Lighthizer

U.S. Trade Rep. Robert Lighthizer

The Trump administration has accused China of not changing its "unfair" practices, inflaming a trade dispute between the world's two largest economies. "This update shows that China has not fundamentally altered its unfair, unreasonable, and market-distorting practices that were the subject of the March 2018 report on our Section 301 investigation".

According to the updated USTR report, Beijing had made only incremental changes to its restrictions on foreign investment in certain sectors in China since the USA first released an original March report used to justify the tariffs on $250 billion in Chinese imports imposed by the Trump administration.

It's got to stop the forced transfer of technology.

"We completed this update as part of this administration's strengthened monitoring and enforcement effort", Lighthizer said in a statement. "I and many others will be there and we will see how it turns out".

"This reflects the thinking of the hawkish in the Trump's trade team, and they are trying to raise their concerns", said Henry Wang, at the Center for China and Globalization, a Beijing-based think tank.

When China was negotiating its WTO entry, the United States wanted to bring politics into the discussion, said Mr Long.

In an interview Tuesday on Fox Business News, chief White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow sent conflicting signals of the chance for progress in Buenos Aires.

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The report said despite the relaxation of some foreign ownership restrictions, "the Chinese government has persisted in using foreign investment restrictions to require or pressure the transfer of technology from USA companies to Chinese entities".

Beijing has struck back.

Mr Long Yongtu, who paved the way for China's admission to the World Trade Organization (WTO), suggested the government erred by immediately retaliating against USA tariffs by imposing levies on American soybeans.

Comments from both sides have frustrated the hopes of easing tensions at the upcoming G20 meeting.

But acrimonious trade rhetoric between the governments of the world's two largest economies has been increasing in recent days, spilling over into an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit last weekend.

At the meeting, US Vice-President Mike Pence said he was prepared to "more than double" the tariffs imposed on Chinese goods.

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