China warns Trump on tariffs, urges ‘cooperation’

China is urging the United States to not see trade as a "zero sum game" following reports of tougher restrictions against Chinese investments and imports. File Photo by How Hwee Young/EPA-EFE

March 14 (UPI) — China warned the Trump administration following reports of planned tougher measures against the world’s second-largest economy that might include new restrictions on investments and visas for Chinese tourists to the United States.

“China is firmly opposed to any unilateral trade protectionism,” foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang told reporters Wednesday at a regular press briefing. “If the United States does take the steps and harm China’s interests, we will definitely take measures to safeguard our legitimate rights and interests.”

Lu also said, “Economic cooperation does not necessarily mean two parties competing and undermining each other, and it should never be a zero-sum game in which one’s gains will definitely be another’s losses.”

On Tuesday CNBC reported heavier tariffs against Chinese imports headed for the United States are to be accompanied by investment restrictions and even a limit on the number of visas issued to Chinese tourists.

The network also reported Wednesday the bulk of a $60 billion tariff on Chinese goods could be met with a stern response from China with action against U.S. companies, like Boeing.

In 2017, the manufacturer of airplanes said it had won a $37 billion contract for 300 planes from China, but the company was later criticized for publicizing a previous order in time for Trump’s first China visit.

U.S. demand for Chinese goods is strong, and economists from both countries have urged the Trump administration to refrain from politicizing trade amid a global economic recovery.

Analyst Daniel Rosen of Rhodium Group said in January the Trump administration is simplifying the issue of trade deficits by blaming foreign governments, and Nicholas Lardy, a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, has said the only way to deal with a trade deficit is to increase savings and investment rates.


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