Thursday, 20 September, 2018

China, U.S. to hold lower-level trade talks in late August

US-China China and the United States have implemented several rounds of tit-for-tat tariffs on each other's goods
Rhonda Young | 16 August, 2018, 13:13

China will send a senior negotiator to the United States in late August to resume trade talks, its commerce ministry said Thursday, the first public meeting on the dispute in weeks as the trade conflict intensifies.

This month's meeting would be the first between senior US and Chinese officials since June 3 talks in Beijing between Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and Vice Premier Liu He ended with no settlement. And China has promptly hit back with tariffs on an equal amount of US exports.

China and the United States have retaliated back and forth with tit-for-tat tariffs and have threatened further tariffs on exports worth hundreds of billions of dollars.

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US futures gained on the news.

Larry Hu, head of greater China economics at the Macquarie Group, said the two sides may discuss what Beijing needs to do, such as increasing USA imports, further opening its markets and making efforts to protect United States intellectual property rights.

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.

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The last round of talks was in early June.

Previous rounds of talks between the two sides failed to make much progress, resulting in the outbreak of a trade war.

Four U.S. and Chinese sources in the business community said they had low expectations for the talks, particularly if officials from USTR were not involved.

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The U.S. Treasury Department led by Steven Mnuchin has been viewed as most opposed to tariffs among key Trump administration agencies, espousing a more moderate approach to China than trade hardliners such as USTR's Robert Lighthizer.

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