Former official: Beijing can target exports by US companies

September 16, 2018 - 11:15 pm

BEIJING (AP) — Chinese news reports have quoted a former finance minister as saying Beijing can disrupt American companies' operations by imposing "export controls" if it needs more leverage in its mounting tariff dispute with Washington.

Lou Jiwei's comments at a weekend economics forum follow reports regulators are squeezing American companies by slowing down customs approvals and stepping up environmental and other inspections.

The administration of President Donald Trump has invited Beijing to hold talks on the dispute over its technology policy. But Washington also is considering imposing new tariff hikes on $200 billion of Chinese goods.

Sina.com and other outlets cited Lou as saying Beijing can disrupt supply chains of American companies by restricting exports from China. The reports gave no indication whether Lou said Beijing should target specific products or industries.