China’s Vice Commerce Minister to visit USA for trade talks

A statement by the Chinese Ministry of Commerce on Thursday said it will hold a fresh round of trade talks with USA officials in Washington before the end of the month.

Vice Minister to meet with US Treasury UnderSecretary Malpass.

China announced Thursday that it will send a delegation to the USA later this month for trade negotiations, after the two countries started imposing tit-for-tat tariffs on goods from each other and Washington tightened controls on investment.

Washington is due to impose tariffs on another $16 billion of Chinese goods on August 23, and China has warned that it will retaliate to that move.

The Chinese government did not say what topics would be discussed at the upcoming meeting, but reiterated Beijing's stance that it opposes "unilateralism and trade protectionism".

"The lower rank of the delegation suggests that both sides remain far apart, and an agreement reached for this visit is very unlikely", Jonas Short, head of the Beijing office at investment bank Everbright Sun Hung Kai, wrote in a note.

The president has argued that the tariffs are necessary in order to secure better trade deals, even though the US has yet to establish any new agreement since the duties were put in place.

The talks, which will take place at a lower level than previously, are the first official attempt by the world's two largest economies to alleviate trade tensions that have been simmering since June. The invitation for talks may have been meant to steady markets, they said.

"A high-level Chinese delegation will travel to the the coming days for trade talks after being invited by the Trump administration". Beijing retaliated by imposing the same percentage of retaliatory tariffs on 545 USA items, also worth $34 billion.

  • David Armstrong