Vehicles transport containers at Qingdao Port, East China's Shandong Province on Wednesday. (Photo: IC)
After rounds of tariffs imposed by both China and the US, a Chinese official stressed that Beijing has adequate countermeasures against US actions, and he called for the US to end tariffs on Chinese goods and stop escalating the trade war.
Trade negotiation teams of China and the US are discussing the details of a planned meeting in September in the US, Gao Feng, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM), told a press briefing on Thursday, without disclosing further details.
The right issue to discuss at the moment should be the US ending all tariffs on $550 billion in Chinese goods, Gao said.
An escalation of the trade war may have disastrous consequences for the world, and neither China nor the US can benefit from it, he noted.
Responding to a tweet by the US President Donald Trump that called on US companies to move out of China, Gao told the Global Times that bilateral economic ties are profound and not subject to anyone's wishes.
To keep cracking down on Chinese companies would ultimately hurt US companies and damage global industry chains, Gao said, adding that the two countries could be partners and mutually beneficial to each other, instead of being rivals in a zero-sum game.
China welcomes investment and business operations from companies anywhere in the world, including the US, and will continue to cultivate a sound business environment for these companies, he noted.
On Wednesday, China announced the opening of its second-round application portal for exemptions from additional tariffs on imports from the US, after striking back at the US with additional tariffs on $75 billion worth of US goods in a tit-for-tat response to planned US tariffs on Chinese products starting as early as September 1.
The second round, for enterprises, business associations or chambers of commerce in China, will start from next Monday and end on October 18, according to a statement from the Customs Tariff Commission of the State Council, China's cabinet.
This round of applications does not cover goods for which tariffs have already been removed or suspended, such as automobiles and auto parts. On August 23, China announced that it would resume imposing additional tariffs of 25 percent or 5 percent on automobiles and auto parts made in the US from December 15, according to the Customs Tariff Commission.
Some products on the newly announced tariffs list of the $75 billion in US imports overlap with items of the first two rounds of tariff exemption applications, and they will still be exempt from tariffs after inspection, national broadcaster CCTV reported on Thursday, citing an official of the Customs Tariff Commission.
"China is adopting a delicate strategy in its trade war with the US, and it will not choose to crack down on all entities," Bai Ming, a research fellow at the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation under the MOFCOM, told the Global Times on Thursday.
Excluding certain products from the tariff list will minimize damage for some domestic importers and consumers, Bai said.