China Minister Says Trade War Would Bring 'Disaster' to World

China says no to US trade war but vows to defend interests

Chinese Minister of Commerce Zhong Shan speaks during a National People's Congress press conference in Beijing on March 11, 2018.

Chinese Commerce Minister Zhong Shan said on Sunday that any trade war would only bring disaster to China, the United States and the rest of the world.

US President Donald Trump has since announced tariffs on steel and aluminium imports, drawing threats of retaliation from China and other nations.

China's trade minister Zhong Shan said that the USA trade deficit with China is overestimated by about 20%, citing research by a panel tasked with investigating the discrepancy between the two nations' accounts of their trade balance.

Although the United States does not import a large quantity of steel from China, the Asian country's unprecedented industry expansion in the past decade has added to global surpluses of steel, thus driving down metal prices.

The U.S. reported a $375 billion deficit with China a year ago, so a 20 percent reduction would still be among the largest trade gaps that the U.S. has with any country. "But we can handle any challenges and are determined to protect the interests of our country and its people".

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"Nobody wants to fight a trade war, and everyone knows fighting one harms others and does not benefit oneself".

Zhong added that the U.S. trade deficit with China is overestimated by about 20%, citing research by a panel tasked with investigating the discrepancy between the two nations' accounts of their trade balance.

The US is the world's biggest importer of steel, purchasing 35 million tonnes of raw material in 2017.

Trade tensions between China and United States have risen since Trump took office.

China's trade surplus with the United States grew 13 percent year on year to 1.87 trillion yuan last year, official data showed.

USA control of high-tech exports to China also contributed to bilateral trade imbalance, Zhong said, quoting one US research report which estimated a 35-percent fall in trade deficit with China if the United States relaxed export restrictions.

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