China-US to resume trade talks after tit-for-tat tariff battle

Ivan Schwartz
August 16, 2018

The last official round of talks was in early June when US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross met Chinese Vice Premier Liu He in Beijing.

Traders said Thursday's markets were pushed up by news that a Chinese delegation led by Vice Minister of Commerce Wang Shouwen will hold talks with US representatives led by Under Secretary of Treasury for International Affairs David Malpass later in August.

The Commerce Ministry said Beijing "reiterates its opposition to unilateralism and trade protectionism and does not accept any unilateral trade restrictions".

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.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate and international-benchmark Brent crude oil futures are trading slightly lower on Thursday.

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

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"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".

The offshore Chinese yuan rose briefly on the news against the dollar, strengthening to a high of 6.9165 before paring gains.

News of the upcoming talks helped Chinese stocks stem losses. The SCI 300 Index was up 0.59 per cent by mid-morning, having fallen as much as 1.8 per cent shortly after open.

Amid a stalemate in the trade war with the US, China will send a top official to Washington this month to resume the high-level dialogue to resolve the deadlock over President Donald Trump's demand to drastically reduce the $375 billion trade deficit.

It still is not clear if China's delegation will carry with it a reform offer serious enough to stave off the Trump administration's threat of former tariffs. Another $16 billion in levies will be effective later in August.

Other reports by GizPress

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