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US Slams “Alice In Wonderland”-China At Trade Talks; China Claims WTO “Taken Hostage” By Washington

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Despite all the happy-talk of “constructive conversations” from last week’s meeting of the minds between Washington and Beijing, reports from today’s World Trade Organization meeting suggest things are not going so well.

As Bloomberg reports, Chinese and U.S. ambassadors to the WTO clashed at the regulatory body’s general council meeting in Geneva, where Beijing lashed out at President Donald Trump’s proposed tariffs on $150 billion of Chinese goods. Washington defended its measures and criticized China’s vows of retaliation.

Today’s meeting “was extraordinary in its intensity,” WTO Spokesman Keith Rockwell said. “We had the two most powerful members of the WTO weighing in on their views of each others’ policy in a way I have not seen in my many years here.”

Reuters reports that the new U.S. ambassador to the World Trade Organization, Dennis Shea, said something had gone “terribly wrong” with judges at the world body and that China’s arguments showed Beijing was living in a fantasy.

…there was a “steadily worsening rupture of trust” by the Appellate Body

“Something has gone terribly wrong in this system when those charged with adjudicating the rules are so consistently disregarding those very rules,”

Beijing’s exhortations against protectionism have “entered the realm of Alice in Wonderland.”

“It is amazing to watch a country that is the world’s most protectionist, mercantilist economy position itself as the self-proclaimed defender of free trade and the global trading system…”

“White is black. Up is down.”

As if those comments were not exponential enough, China accused US of hostage-taking at the WTO (which probably has a ring of truth to it). Reuters reports that China’s Ambassador to the WTO, Zhang Xiangchen, told its membership on Tuesday, that…

“the United States is threatening the World Trade Organization with “three hard blows”, including taking the system of judicial appointments hostage.

Zhang said it was “dangerous and devastating” that the United States was challenging the WTO’s fundamental guiding principles by blocking new judges, by imposing global tariffs on steel and aluminium, and by threatening China with a separate $50 billion package of tariffs.  

However, Shea responded in kind…

“The truth is, it is China that is the unilateralist, consistently acting in ways that undermine the global system of open and fair trade,” Shea said.

“The WTO must avoid falling down this rabbit hole into a fantasy world, lest it lose all credibility.”

But apart from that – talks are going well!!

And President Trump tweeted on Tuesday that he would speak to Chinese President Xi Jinping later in the day on trade, “where good things will happen.”


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