China, U.S. to hold trade talks in October - China commerce ministry

China, U.S. to hold trade talks in October - China commerce ministry

The negotiations were supposed to have resumed this month but the Chinese commerce ministry said Vice Premier Liu He, Beijing's point man on trade, agreed to October talks in a phone call with US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Thursday.

China and the United States have agreed to hold high-level trade talks in early October in Washington, China's commerce ministry said on Thursday, amid fears that an escalating trade war could trigger a global economic recession.

"Both sides agreed that they should work together and take practical actions to create good conditions for consultations", the ministry said.

On Wednesday, the 4th of September 2019, data released by US Commerce Department had revealed a slight moderation of trade gap, nonetheless, United States' trade deficit with China hits a six-month-peak, jeopardizing a key priority of the US President Donald Trump and his administration's "America First" policy. A cautious statement from the USTR's office confirmed that ministerial-level discussions will take place in "the coming weeks", without specifying when.

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Both countries said they will continue talking ahead of that in-person meeting.

On Sept. 1, the USA introduced 15 percent tariffs on US$112 billion worth of Chinese goods, including textile products.

Beijing has agreed to narrow its politically sensitive trade surplus with the US but is reluctant to give up development strategies it sees as a path to prosperity and global influence.

Officials have struggled to agree on when to hold talks and what to discuss since their last meeting in Shanghai in July.

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