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China rebuffs Trump claim U.S. tariffs are making firms leave

A labourer works outside a logistics center near Tianjin Port, in northern China, May 16, 2019. REUTERS/Jason Lee

BEIJING (Reuters) – Foreign investors remained enthusiastic about China, the foreign ministry said on Tuesday, following U.S. 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.

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No further trade talks between top Chinese and U.S. 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% from 10%.

Trump took the step after China sought major changes to a deal that U.S. 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.

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