China is trying to bring countries in Europe and Asia into a trade alliance against the United States, the Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday.
China may offer to open its markets up to foreign companies that line up with it against the U.S., the WSJ said, citing Chinese officials.
The Chinese trade maneuvers come after the White House Tuesday unexpectedly announced that it was moving head with plans to impose tariffs on $50 billion of Chinese goods. The U.S. said it would have a final list of goods subject to the tariffs by July 15 and would announce investment restrictions on Chinese acquisitions of U.S. technology two weeks late.
That appeared to be a reversal of earlier statements by U.S. officials that the trade dispute would be put on hold while the two countries carried on negotiations. The two countries had recently announced they had reached a framework for a trade deal that would involve China buying more agricultural and energy commodities and opening its market up to U.S. investment.
A team of U.S. negotiators arrived in China on Wednesday for preliminary trade talks in advance of Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross scheduled trip to Beijing this weekend.
The Wall Street Journal said that the tariff announcement has thrown plans for high-level negotiations into disarray. If the preliminary talks in Beijing don’t make progress, Secretary Ross’ trip could be cancelled.