Brussels in last-ditch attempt to avoid Trump's trade tariffs

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To protect our national security, the United States will implement specific investment restrictions and enhanced export controls for Chinese persons and entities related to the acquisition of industrially significant technology.

"The United States will request that China remove all of its many trade barriers", the White House said, "including non-monetary trade barriers, which make it both hard and unfair to do business there". This package of tariffs is different than a separate package of tariffs focused on steel and aluminum production announced earlier this year.

China's state media on Wednesday lashed into a USA announcement that it would press ahead with restrictions on investment by Chinese companies, saying Beijing was ready to fight back if Washington was looking to ignite a trade war.

The United States and China subsequently conducted two rounds of trade talks aimed at avoiding a full-blown trade war.

"We were both surprised by and expecting the statement issued by the White House". As different actors curry favor with President Donald Trump, their respective policies seem to appear and disappear. The State Department said that under the new policy, U.S. consular officers may limit how long visas are valid, rather than the usual practice of issuing them for the maximum possible length.

Just nine days ago Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the administration would ditch plans to impose tariffs of 25 per cent on a string of products, expected to be tech-heavy, while talks continued between the two sides.

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The White House also said new restrictions on Chinese investment and enhanced export controls will be announced by June 30, with implementation soon after.

It said the final list of covered imports, worth around $50bn (£38bn), will be published on June 15, with the 25pc tariff imposed shortly after. "If the USA wants to play games, then China would be more than willing to play along and do so until the very end", it said.

China has no reason to address issues brought up by the United States if the government's priorities appear to be constantly in flux, said Eric Altbach, senior vice president at Albright Stonebridge Group and former deputy assistant U.S. trade representative for China under President Barack Obama.

In a statement Tuesday, a representative for the Chinese Ministry of Commerce took a subtle dig at Trump's constant back-and-forth on trade issues. "Regardless of what measures the U.S. launches, China has the confidence, capability and experience in safeguarding the interests of the Chinese people and its core national interests".

The announcement comes at a sensitive time in US-China relations, amid US talks with nuclear-armed North Korea as well as rising tensions in the South China Sea, where two US vessels recently sailed close to two disputed islands, prompting protest from Beijing.

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