• Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker, center, shakes hands with Chinese Vice Premier of the State Council Wang Yang, left, with U.S. Trade Representative Ambassador Michael Froman at right, during a signing ceremony at the 27th session of the U.S.-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade in Washington, Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2016. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

    Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker, center, shakes hands with Chinese Vice Premier of the State Council Wang Yang, left, with U.S. Trade Representative Ambassador Michael Froman at right, during a signing ceremony at the 27th session of the U.S.-China ... Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade in Washington, Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2016. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh) (The Associated Press)

  • Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker, center, talks with Chinese Vice Premier of the State Council Wang Yang, left, with U.S. Trade Representative Ambassador Michael Froman at right, following a signing ceremony at the 27th session of the U.S.-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade in Washington, Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2016. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

    Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker, center, talks with Chinese Vice Premier of the State Council Wang Yang, left, with U.S. Trade Representative Ambassador Michael Froman at right, following a signing ceremony at the 27th session of the U.S.-China ... Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade in Washington, Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2016. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh) (The Associated Press)

  • Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker, center, stands with Chinese Vice Premier of the State Council Wang Yang, left, and U.S. Trade Representative Ambassador Michael Froman, before the start of a signing ceremony at the 27th session of the U.S.-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade in Washington, Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2016. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

    Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker, center, stands with Chinese Vice Premier of the State Council Wang Yang, left, and U.S. Trade Representative Ambassador Michael Froman, before the start of a signing ceremony at the 27th session of the U.S.-China ... Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade in Washington, Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2016. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh) (The Associated Press)

China rebuffs Trump threat to take steps to win trade edge

Markets Associated Press

China is pushing back against President-elect Donald Trump's threat to use sanctions to win back a competitive trade advantage for the United States.

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On the campaign trail, Trump pledged to act on his first day in the White House to slap 45 percent tariffs on Chinese products and label China a "currency manipulator."

But Zhang Xiangchen, China's deputy trade representative, warned Wednesday that Trump will find that he is bound by the rules of the World Trade Organization, which restrain countries from imposing trade sanctions without making a persuasive case for them.

Speaking at the end of annual U.S.-China trade talks, Zhang also disputed the idea that China keeps its currency artificially low to give its exporters a price advantage. Many economists agree that China no longer manipulates its currency.