China has criticized proposed USA investment controls as a violation of global trade rules and says it reserves the right to retaliate if they take effect.
Ross says U.S. and Chinese officials discussed specific American export items Beijing might buy as part of its pledge to narrow its trade surplus with the United States. But on Tuesday, the White House announced that it would impose 25 percent tariffs on $50 billion worth of imported goods from China, with a final list of what imports will be covered to be published next month.
On March 23, Trump had imposed massive trade tariffs amounting to United States dollars 60 billion on China, in an effort to stop the latter from stealing "intellectual property" from American companies. China "will carefully evaluate the USA measures and reserves the right to take corresponding measures", Gao said.
It comes as Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross prepares to travel to Beijing this week for another round of talks aimed at resolving the conflict. More imports and tariffs will also be announced at a later date.
"We believe that when it comes to the problems in Sino-U.S. trade and business both sides should take a honest attitude in the spirit of equality and mutual respect to use dialogue and consultations to seek a mutually beneficial win-win solution". The Commerce Ministry didn't respond to questions about the status of the meeting, but the American Embassy said a delegation of trade, agriculture and treasury officials had arrived in the Chinese capital to make preparations.
Private sector analysts say that while Beijing is willing to compromise on its trade surplus, it will resist changes that might threaten plans to transform China into a global technology competitor. The White House is back to being the Bad Cop, pushing ahead on tariffs and punishing China for playing unfair with intellectual property.
China promised to significantly increase its purchases of American goods and services to reduce the USA trade deficit. That would be on top of a $1 billion penalty ZTE paid for selling high-tech equipment to North Korea and Iran in violation of USA sanctions.
Congressman Drew Ferguson applauded the Trump administration for their decision to place restrictions on China's acquisition of sensitive American technology. China is not willing to see an escalation in China-US trade frictions.
"It's hard to say, but I think both scenarios are likely".
Some in the foreign business community have noted that tariffs and the threat of using them has helped to get China to engage more on issues than it has in years and is giving Washington some leverage.