Wednesday, 24 October, 2018

China’s Vice Commerce Minister to visit United States for trade talks

The US Treasury Department building on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington DC The US Treasury Department building on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington DC Credit AFP
Kenneth Drake | 17 August, 2018, 13:58

China's Commerce Ministry says Vice Minister Wang Shouwen will meet with David Malpass, an assistant U.S. Treasury secretary for worldwide affairs.

News of the upcoming talks helped Chinese stocks stem losses.

A senior USA government official confirmed the talks and said: "We expect to discuss steps to achieve a more balanced trading relationship".

A few months back the US and China were sending trade delegations back and forth between China and the U.S.to negotiate trade agreements between the two nations. The U.S. has imposed tariffs on tens of millions in Chinese imports with President Trump's warning of tariffs on hundreds of millions more in Chinese imports to the United States.

Beijing has said it will retaliate in kind.

The Wall Street Journal reported that the talks in Washington would take place on August 21 and 22, just before $16 billion in new US tariffs on Chinese goods take effect, along with an equal amount of retaliatory tariffs from Beijing.


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

Having made little progress in the previous meetings, the White House said on August 3 that the United States is open to further talks with China on how to resolve the festering trade dispute.

The last official round of talks was in early June when US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross met Chinese Vice Premier Liu He in Beijing. The invitation for talks may have been meant to steady markets, they said.

"Our Country was built on Tariffs, and Tariffs are now leading us to great new Trade Deals - as opposed to the awful and unfair Trade Deals that I inherited as your President", Trump tweeted Wednesday. However, financial observers expressed skepticism that any tangible agreement will come from the meeting, citing that the U.S. Trade Representative was not involved and the talks will occur between lower-level officials.

Unless there is some breakthrough the United States and China are preparing to a next round of retaliatory levies, having implemented tariffs on $34 billion of each other's exports on July 6.

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