MPCore.us – China’s Commerce Ministry said high-level trade negotiations involving officials from the world’s two largest economies had begun but it was not clear whether the US and China would be able to reach an agreement and avoid the threat of a sharp increase in import tariffs on more than $ 200 billion of Chinese goods.
At a press conference in Beijing on Thursday, China’s Commerce Ministry spokesman Gao Feng said the talks resumed after President Donald Trump and Chinese leader Xi Jinping spoke by telephone two weeks ago.
After a telephone conversation on November 1, Trump said he considered the two could make an agreement but added that the US was ready to impose further tax rates on Chinese goods if progress was not made.
Trump and Xi are scheduled to meet in the coming weeks on the sidelines of the G20 country summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Fenga told reporters the team from both sides remained closely connected.
“In terms of the impact of the China -AS trade dispute, companies from both countries are currently affected differently. All companies from both parties took steps to overcome this. In terms of economic relations and trade in cooperation between China and the US, it will help both parties while confrontation will harm both. We all hope that through dialogue in harmony we can resolve differences between the two parties and provide a stable and predictable environment for companies on both sides, “he said.
On January 1, 10% of US import tariffs on $ 200 billion of Chinese goods are planned to increase to 25%. Trump also said that if the two could not reach an agreement, the US could impose import tariffs on China’s remaining imports worth around $ 267 billion.
Earlier this week there were reports that China’s senior deputy prime minister Liu He, a senior trade negotiator, would head to Washington.
According to a Reuters news agency report citing three US government sources, China has submitted a written response to US demands for broad trade reforms.
It is unclear whether the response could bridge the sharp gap between the two countries regarding trade or fulfill Trump’s demand for change.