(Yicai Global) March 29 -- China and the US should work together to ensure that tensions related to a possible trade war do not escalate, the top US diplomat in China told Yicai Global yesterday in Beijing.
"I think it would not be in the interest of either country to see the frictions increase or to see retaliation," said US Ambassador to China Terry Branstad in an exclusive interview with Yicai Global, adding that he hopes issues can be resolved in a satisfactory way that will be beneficial to Chinese consumers, US workers and the rest of the world.
US President Donald Trump announced plans on March 13 to implement tariffs on Chinese imports worth up to USD60 billion, and China has since threatened retaliatory actions. The two countries will hold talks aimed at resolving their differences, with President Xi Jinping's top economic advisor Vice-Premier Liu He and US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin expected to take part.
Branstad also spoke of the opportunities for the US to increase exports to China, highlighting the auto and medical sectors, while also mentioning the possible national security issues involved.
"Obviously, there's a lot of different things that China could import from the US, those things that are not a threat to our national security or economic leadership. China now has more luxury cars than we have in the US and another area is medical devices," he said.
Other potential areas for trade development include China's imports of US pharmaceuticals and clean fuels such as liquefied natural gas, Branstad indicated, adding that the US could help China in its fight against air pollution.
The top US diplomat held a press conference prior to the interview in which he urged China to fulfill its commitments to open up its markets.
"We have not seen the action on the promises that have been made and certainly not quick enough, the goal is to try to get that to happen sooner," Branstad said.