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China criticises US trade report but silent on tariff hikes

Donald Trump announced that he will increase duties on steel and aluminium imports.

China has expressed “grave concern” about a US trade policy report that pledges to pressure Beijing but had no immediate response to President Donald Trump’s plan to hike tariffs on steel and aluminium.

The report on Thursday accused China of moving away from market principles and pledged to prevent Beijing from disrupting global trade.

“The Chinese side expresses grave concern,” said a Commerce Ministry statement.

The ministry said Beijing has satisfied its trade obligations and appealed to Washington to settle disputes through negotiation.

However, there was no immediate response to Mr Trump’s announcement that he will increase duties on steel and aluminium imports. Chinese officials have threatened to take “necessary measures” to defend their country’s interests.

Beijing faces mounting complaints from Washington, Europe and other trading partners that it improperly subsidies exports and hampers access to its markets in violation of its free-trade commitments.

“The United States aims to hold countries that break the rules accountable for their actions,” said a White House statement on Thursday.

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