EU says China could open its economy if it wishes

U.S. President Donald Trump has warned he may ultimately impose tariffs on more than $500 billion worth of Chinese goods - almost the total amount of U.S. imports from China a year ago - to combat what the U.S says are Beijing's trade abuses.

Other governments have criticized Trump for going outside the WTO when he imposed 25 percent tariffs on $34 billion of Chinese goods.

"The intellectual property theft is not to be trifled with", Cramer said, referring to the Chinese practice of forcing American companies to enter into joint ventures and share their technology in order to do business in the world's second-largest economy.

European Council President Donald Tusk was speaking in Beijing at the opening of a summit between China and the European Union, just hours ahead of a summit between Trump and Putin in Helsinki.

The USTR said last week that it proposed the levy in response to Beijing's decision to retaliate for US tariff hikes over complaints China is hurting American companies by stealing or pressuring foreign enterprises to hand over technology.

Tusk spoke after meeting with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang as part of an annual EU-China summit that opened against the backdrop of the growing China-US economic confrontation and wider global trade discord.

He endorsed efforts to update World Trade Organization rules that Washington complains are outdated and cumbersome. They met amid mounting acrimony over Trump's tariff hikes on goods from China, Europe and other trading partners.

Tusk issued his appeal in opening remarks to an annual EU-China summit on Monday, as he made an explicit link between the European delegation visiting Beijing and the U.S. president's meeting later the same day in Helsinki with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Before arriving in the Finnish capital Trump named the European Union and China as "foes" to the US.

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A trade war between Washington and Beijing has led some Chinese hotels and restaurants to begin raising prices for American customers in an unofficial form of retaliation.

Li has appealed to visiting European leaders including German Chancellor Angela Merkel in May by saying their companies were welcome to invest.

"China is realizing in order to make strides in industry and ambition it needs to lock into the global supply chain as smoothly as possible", said Mats Harborn, president of the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China.

A recent report from the European Union, cited by the Associated Press, said Beijing erected more import and investment barriers than any other nation past year, making it harder for electronics and cybersecurity companies to do business here.

However, a lower yuan would make it more expensive for China to import USA goods.

"Protectionism is on the rise", the report said.

The premier gave no indication whether Beijing would act on complaints European companies are blocked from acquiring most Chinese assets while its companies operate freely overseas.

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