US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and China's Vice Premier Wang Yang at the US - China Comprehensive Economic Dialogue in July. Photot Reuters/Yuri Gripas

The United States Trade Representative office said that the US will combat market “distortions” created by China’s economic system, reports Bloomberg, citing a July report presented to Congress.

“The international steel and aluminum markets, for example, are currently experiencing significant oversupply due in large part to production from excessive and uneconomic capacity in China,” USTR was quoted as saying in the report. “This oversupply has caused severe market distortions, including the suppression of U.S. and global prices, and the displacement of U.S. exports in foreign markets.”

The tough talk from America’s top trade negotiating body comes after the failure of the US and China to come to any agreement on trade issues during recent high-level talks in Washington.

Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross echoed the USTR sentiments in an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal on Monday:

“Unfortunately, many governments across the globe have pursued policies that put American workers and businesses at a disadvantage. For these governments, President Trump and his administration have a clear message: It is time to rebalance your trade policies so that they are fair, free and reciprocal.

Many nations express commitment to free markets while criticizing the U.S. for what they characterize as a protectionist stance. Yet these very nations engage in unfair trading practices, erect barriers to American exports, and maintain significant trade surpluses with us. They argue that our $752.5 billion trade deficit in goods last year was simply a natural and inevitable consequence of free trade. So, they contend, America should have no complaints.

Our major trading partners issue frequent statements regarding their own free-trade bona fides, but do they practice what they preach? Or are they protectionists dressed in free-market clothing?”