Wang Shouwen, vice-minister of commerce, will lead a delegation to the USA at the end of August to discuss bilateral trade issues with a team led by David Malpass, secretary of treasury for global affairs, the Chinese Commerce Ministry said in a statement today.
Those tariffs will be the latest action in an ongoing tit-for-tat exchange of duties between the two countries, prompting concerns of an escalating trade war between the world's two largest economies.
While the engagement was seen by analysts and business officials as positive, they cautioned that the talks were unlikely to lead to a breakthrough given they are among lower level officials and led on the U.S. side by the Treasury Department, not the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR).
Vice Commerce Minister Wang Shouwen, the deputy representative on worldwide trade negotiations, will meet with a senior U.S. treasury official, David Malpass, at the invitation of the United States, the ministry said in a statement.
The offshore Chinese yuan rose briefly on the news against the dollar, strengthening to a high of 6.9165 before paring gains.
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But the discussions failed to reduce tensions as the United States slapped tariffs on $34 billion worth of Chinese goods in early July, triggering an immediate dollar-for-dollar retaliation from Beijing.
President Trump has declared that a trade war with Beijing would be "easy to win" and that he was willing to impose tariffs on up to $500 billion of Chinese products after declaring that a trade war with Beijing...
Chinese stocks also reversed losses on Thursday morning after the announcement of further trade talks. Another $16 billion in levies will be effective later in August.
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.