China’s Premier Urges Trump to ‘Act Rationally’ Over Trade

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang appealed to Washington on Tuesday to “act rationally” and avoid disrupting trade over steel, technology and other disputes. He promised Beijing will “open even wider” to imports and investment.

“No one will emerge a winner from a trade war,” Li, the No. 2 Chinese leader, said at an annual news conference held during the meeting of China’s ceremonial legislature.

Li made no mention of a possible Chinese response if U.S. President Donald Trump raises import barriers over trade complaints against Beijing. But other officials say President Xi Jinping’s government is ready to act.

Now, Mr. Trump is reportedly considering tariffs on up to $60 billion of Chinese goods following an investigation into China’s trade practices. The tariffs could cover a wide range of imported goods: electronics; apparel and footwear; transportation equipment tied to planes, ships and rail.

U.S. business groups have warned that might hurt American companies and consumers, while some fear Beijing might retaliate by cutting Chinese purchases of American jetliners, soybeans and other goods.

“Beijing will not want to be seen as being soft vis-a-vis the U.S. Its response will surely include strong protests, and probably also some trade measures targeting the U.S.,” Louis Kuijs, head of Asia economics at Oxford Economics, wrote in a research note. “Another possibility would be to exert pressure on U.S. businesses in China by means of further inspections, tests and delays in procedures.”

Li said China doesn’t want a trade war. “What we hope is for us to act rationally rather than being led by emotions,” he said.

Click here to read more.