The United States should cancel in full all additional tariffs imposed on Chinese goods as early as possible, Shu Jueting, spokesperson for the Ministry of Commerce, said on March 23.
Additional tariffs imposed under Section 301 constitute unilateralism and trade protectionism, and they have severely disrupted bilateral trade and destabilized global industrial and supply chains, Shu told a press conference.
She made the statement in response to a March 15 report by the U.S. International Trade Commission. It revealed that tariffs under Sections 232 and 301 had resulted in a nearly one-to-one increase in prices of U.S. imports, and that U.S. importers have borne almost the full burden of Section 301 tariffs.
The U.S. side should take heed of U.S. public opinion on the matter, respect the ruling of the World Trade Organization's dispute settlement panel that Section 301 tariffs had violated the WTO rules, and cancel in full all additional tariffs imposed on Chinese goods as early as possible, she said.
Addressing inquiries on whether China's widening trade surplus with the United States could stop the latter from lowering tariffs on Chinese goods, Shu said that China never intentionally sought the surplus.
The U.S. trade deficit with China is the result of multiple factors, including the two sides' economic structures, the global industrial division of labor and U.S. export controls on China, she said.
China-U.S. economic and trade cooperation is mutually beneficial in nature, Shu said. Chinese firms' imports of U.S. products like agricultural products, automobiles, technology, and energy and petrochemical products serve the interests of both sides, while Chinese exports help satisfy U.S. consumer demand and mitigate inflation.
To create favorable conditions for further cooperation between the two sides and to reduce the trade deficit, the United States should drop the Section 301 tariffs, relax export controls on Chinese firms and ease the trade curbs they face, Shu said.
In response to recent media reports that the United States would force TikTok to be sold off, Shu said that China will strongly oppose the U.S. move if the news is true.
The potential sale or divestment of TikTok would have an impact on technology exports, which need to go through administrative permission procedures in light of Chinese laws and regulations, Shu said, noting that the Chinese government will make decisions according to the law.
The spokesperson warned that forcing the sale of TikTok will seriously damage the confidence of investors from all over the world, including China, to invest in the United States.