U.S. Stresses Trade Concerns With China After Trump Announces Tariff Plan

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Senior U.S. officials stressed concerns about the U.S. trade deficit with China, market access and unfair treatment of U.S. companies in a second day of talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping’s top economic adviser at the White House on Friday.

Liu He met U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, White House economic adviser Gary Cohn, and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer after a similar meeting with the three on Thursday.

Their second day of talks came amid heightened economic tensions with Beijing and fears of a trade war after President Donald Trump announced plans to put tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum, triggering threats of retaliation from trading partners and a slide in stock markets.

We held frank conversations,” a White House spokeswoman said.

“We expressed concerns about the trade deficit, lack of reciprocal treatment for U.S. companies, issues related to transfers of technology, and market access barriers in China,” she said.

“We continue to be open to an exchange of ideas on how to resolve these concerns.”

White House officials said Trump himself did not stop by the meeting with Liu as he sometimes does when senior foreign dignitaries, including Chinese officials, are visiting.

Trump struck a defiant tone on Friday, saying trade wars were good and easy to win, after the European Union raised the possibility of countermeasures, France said the duties would be unacceptable and China urged him to show restraint.

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