International trade secretary Liam Fox urges China to "play its part" in ending tariffs dispute

Catherine Neilan
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Defence Secretary Liam Fox Facing Inquiry Into Ministerial Conduct
Fox: WTO must operate more effectively to support the global economy (Source: Getty)

International trade secretary Liam Fox will tonight urge China to "play its part" in ending the tariffs dispute with the US by opening its markets and improving standards.

The Cabinet minister, who has in the past criticised Donald Trump for his "absurd" decision to impose steel tariffs on the UK - distinct from those imposed on Beijing, will tell Chinese businessmen and women that the world should avoid such barriers, or put at risk "jobs, growth and prosperity.”

Speaking at the Centre for Policy Studies' UK-China conference, Fox will call on the World Trade Organisation to "operate more effectively in supporting the global economy, tackling issues of market entry, ownership restrictions, transparency of ownership, overcapacity and intellectual property issues – especially forced technology transfer – through multilateral cooperation, using where necessary, the legal sanctions available".

But he will also note that “China must play its part, opening its markets and ensuring compliance in all these areas".

The secretary of state will emphasise how the UK is "China's natural partner" in projects such as the Belt and Road Initiative, as well as future projects on which "global Britain" can partner.

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