China's trade negotiator says a tariff hike won't solve anything

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on May 10, 2019 - Duration: 00:36s

China's trade negotiator says a tariff hike won't solve anything

China’s top trade negotiator says increasing tariffs will hurt China, the U.S. and even the world.

Vice Premier Liu He spoke to the media ahead of a planned tariff hike on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods.

Rough cut (no reporter narration)

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China's trade negotiator says a tariff hike won't solve anything

(ROUGH CUT - NO REPORTER NARRATION) China's top trade negotiator Liu He said on Thursday (May 9), the first day of a new round of trade talks with his U.S. counterparts, that an increase in U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods "won't solve anything," Chinese state media reported.

Tension between Washington and Beijing has risen after a major setback in negotiations last week when China revised a draft deal and weakened commitments to meet U.S. demands for trade reform.

President Donald Trump responded by ordering a tariff hike, and China has said it would retaliate.

The 10-month-old trade war has already cost companies in both countries billions of dollars.

Speaking to state broadcaster CCTV just before his first round of meetings with U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, Liu said that hiking tariffs would be "unfavourable" to both sides.

"Both sides have had their issues, but we should not be hurting innocent people.

It has been damaging for the public, which I think is a shame," he said.

"So, we hope to find the best way forward." Liu, Mnuchin, and Lighthizer held a 90-minute meeting on Thursday and were expected to resume talks on Friday (May 10).

With no action from the Trump administration to reverse the increase, U.S. Customs and Border Protection imposed the new 25 percent duty on affected U.S.-bound cargoes leaving China after 12:01 a.m.

EDT (0401 GMT) on Friday.

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