Trump, allies play down concerns about effect of trade war with China

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Kudlow said a "coalition of the willing" was being formed to pressure President Xi Jinping, including by taking the issue to the World Trade Organization, to crack down on China's trade practices.

U.S. President Donald Trump said in a tweet on Sunday that China would take down its trade barriers and that the two countries would reach a deal on intellectual property.

It also said that Chinese enterprises and industry will band together to support any government action against the tariffs. "We want them to guard intellectual property, not take it from us".

The president also mentioned the dispute may have ended on good terms, saying both countries will continue to have a 'great future'.

The new White House economic adviser, Larry Kudlow, said Sunday that a "coalition of the willing" - including Canada, much of Europe and Australia - was being formed to pressure China and that the US would demand that the World Trade Organization, an arbiter of trade disputes, be stricter on Beijing.

"China's achievements in innovation were made not through stealing or plundering, but based on the down-to-earth efforts of the Chinese people", said Zhang Zhicheng, head of the department of IPR protection and coordination affairs under SIPO. In a separate interview on "Fox News Sunday", Kudlow acknowledged "jitters" but insisted "we're not gonna to end up in a trade war".

The latest round began March 22 when the Trump administration announced plans for tariffs of up to $50-$60 billion in goods from China, in response to what it called Chinese theft of us trade secrets, including state-of-the-art technology. Mr Trump dismissed China's counter-tariffs, which officials in Beijing described as proportionate and legal, as "unfair retaliation" that will "harm our farmers and manufacturers".

While Mr He added that China would continue to retaliate in kind against any further trade actions launched by the United States, he believes that Mr Xi will not waver from the principled rhetoric of his speech a year ago at Davos in defence of free trade and rules-based institutions such as the WTO. "We're moving forward on a measured way with tariffs, with investment restrictions", Navarro added. In the most recent of these addresses - at last month's annual session of China's rubber-stamp parliament - Mr Xi warned the United States not to "threaten others".

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China, which already proposed duties on $50 billion in U.S. products including aircraft to soybeans, has threatened to respond proportionately and "counterattack with great strength" if Trump makes good on the latest tariff proposal. He allowed that there "could be" a trade war but said he didn't anticipate one.

"There could be but i don't expect it at all", Mnuchin said on CBS News' "Face the Nation".

On Sunday, the state People's Daily newspaper sought to tap into concern among some USA business leaders over the impact of Washington's planned tariffs.

Trump said he and Xi would resolve their trade differences eventually and "will always be friends."

Further escalation could be in the offing.

So far, only the tariffs on steel and aluminum have taken effect.

For Trump, the dispute runs the risk of blunting the economic benefits of his tax overhaul, which is at the center of congressional Republicans' case for voters to keep them in power in the 2018 elections.

Crude oil and global equity markets tumbled on Friday on investor worries about the impact a tariff war could have on the world economy.

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