China rebuffs Trump claim US tariffs are making firms leave

BEIJING: Foreign investors remained enthusiastic about China, the foreign ministry said on Tuesday, following United States President Donald Trump’s claim that his tariffs are causing companies to move production away from the world’s second largest economy.
Trump said in an interview aired on Sunday that his tariffs on Chinese goods are causing companies to move manufacturing out of China to Vietnam and other Asian countries, and added that any agreement to end a trade war with China cannot be a “50-50” deal.
No further trade talks between top Chinese and US trade negotiators have been scheduled since the last round ended on May 10 – the same day Trump raised the tariff rate on $200 billion worth of Chinese products to 25 per cent from 10 per cent.
Trump took the step after China sought major changes to a deal that US officials said had been largely agreed.
Since then, China has struck a sterner tone in its rhetoric, suggesting that a resumption of talks aimed at ending the 10-month trade war was unlikely to happen soon.
Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang, responding to a question on Trump’s claim at a daily news briefing, said foreign investors were “still bullish” on China.
“Even though over the past year or more the United States has continued to menace Chinese products with additional tariffs, everyone can see that the enthusiasm for foreign investors in China remains high,” Lu said.
Lu listed companies, including Tesla, BASF and BMW, as all having recently increased their investment in China. He added that China would continue to improve business and investment conditions for foreign companies.
But foreign firms have grown weary of what they say are China’s piecemeal economic reforms.
Long considered a cornerstone of an otherwise fraught bilateral relationship, the US business community in China in recent years has advocated a harder line on what it sees as discriminatory Chinese trade policies. — Reuters