United States and China meet for trade talks

Daniel Fowler
August 16, 2018

China will dispatch Vice Commerce Minister Wang Shouwen to the U.S. for trade talks in late August, the first official exchanges since earlier negotiations broke down two months ago.

The visit is at the invitation of the United States, the ministry said in a short statement.

The Chinese Commerce Ministry announced Thursday that a delegation will travel to the United States later this month for talks.

"The main objective is to see whether both sides are really interested in having further dialogue". The countries imposed steep tariffs on billions of dollars of each other's exports this summer and have threatened more.

Washington slapped 25% tariffs on $34bn of Chinese goods in early July, leading Beijing to respond with similar levies, and further tariffs on $16bn of Chinese goods are due to come into effect on 23 August.

Beijing has said it will retaliate in kind.

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Chinese Vice Premier Liu He held talks with US Commerce Minister Wilbur Ross in Beijing in June.

There was no immediate response from the U.S. Treasury to the announcement from Beijing.

A meeting between the two countries, which would be between lower-level officials than earlier talks, would mark a breach in the standoff that has arisen since talks broke down in the spring. The invitation for talks may have been meant to steady markets, they said. Earlier this month, China announced a list of $60 billion worth of US imports it plans to apply tariffs on, after Trump ordered officials to consider imposing a 25 percent tax on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods, up from an initial 10 percent rate. Separately, China has said it is prepared to put additional tariffs on 5,207 goods imported from the United States with a total value of $60 billion, ranging from liquefied natural gas to some aircraft.

"It is possible that China may stress to the U.S. that China will continue reform", he said.

"Wang Yiwei, a professor at Renmin University's global studies, said Wang's trip follows the Communist Party's annual closed door meeting at the Beidahe resort, where the trade war was likely to have been one of the main topics of discussion".

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