China to send delegation for US talks to avert trade war

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A Chinese trade delegation will visit the US this month to kick off a new round of talks, the first since negotiations broke down two months ago.

China’s ministry of commerce said the US had invited a delegation, led by vice-commerce minister Wang Shouwen, to meet a group led by US Treasury undersecretary, David Malpass.

Washington has imposed tariffs on $50bn (£40bn) worth of Chinese goods, prompting Beijing to retaliate. Donald Trump’s administration is threatening further tariffs on $200bn of Chinese goods, in a bid to pressure US companies to bring production back to the US.

China’s commerce ministry reiteratedthat Beijing opposed trade protectionism and would not accept any unilateral trade restrictions. “China welcomes communications and dialogue on the basis of reciprocity, equality and integrity,” it said.

News of the upcoming talks helped Chinese stocks stem losses. The Shanghai Composite Index closed down 0.6% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng finished 1% lower.

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. It is unclear whether the new talks will take place before that date.

Both sides appeared to have reached a deal in May after a team led by China’s Vice-Premier Liu He, President Xi Jinping’s top economic adviser, flew to Washington. But Trump backed away from the agreement and the two nations have been locked in a tit-for-tat trade war ever since.

The last official round of talks was in early June when the US commerce secretary, Wilbur Ross, met Liu He in Beijing.

Trump tweeted on Wednesday:

By Julia Kollewe
The Guardian

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