25 September 2018

China hits back at US claims on WTO tech deal, Reuters says

Commerce Minister Gao Hucheng on Sunday slammed the United States as “irresponsible” after Washington accused China of jeopardizing a deal that aims to cut tariffs on technology products, saying Washington had disappointed participants in the talks, Reuters reported. US Trade Representative Michael Froman said on Thursday that China’s demands to exempt more than 100 products from a technology trade deal risked leading to a breakdown in the negotiations. “It is irresponsible for the US to discard the consensus that has been agreed by most of the countries only because the deal cannot meet its own requirement for several products,” Gao said in a statement. China had pushed forward negotiations to expand the Information Technology Agreement and proven its willingness to improve its offer several times during the talks, the Chinese minister was quoted as saying. The talks seek to expand a 16-year-old World Trade Organization agreement by cutting the import cost of such products as personal computers, laptops, telephones, fax machines, computer software and semiconductors, the report said.

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