says new talks with the United States are set to take place amid the
trade war between the two economic superpowers.
The Chinese Commerce Ministry announced Thursday that a delegation will
travel to the United States later this month for talks. The visit is at
the invitation of the United States, the ministry said in a short
Previous rounds of talks between the two countries failed to make much
progress, resulting in the outbreak of a trade war that has already hurt
businesses on both sides of the Pacific. The countries imposed steep
tariffs on billions of dollars of each other’s exports this summer and
have threatened more.
The Chinese delegation will be led by Vice Commerce Minister Wang
Shouwen, who will hold talks with David Malpass, the US Treasury
Department’s under secretary for international affairs, according to the
It’s highly uncertain how much headway the negotiators will be able to
make, with the two governments far apart on how to address many of the
key US concerns. Those include the huge trade imbalance between the two
countries, Chinese efforts to get hold of American technology and
Beijing’s ambitious industrial policies.
The case for China being "willing to give enough concessions that the US
government backs down is not convincing," Louis Kuijs, head of Asia
economics at research firm Oxford Economics, wrote in a note to clients
The officials leading the new talks are less senior than in previous
rounds, which involved Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Commerce
Secretary Wilbur Ross on the US side and Vice Premier Liu He, a top
adviser to President Xi Jinping, for China.
The US Treasury Department wasn’t available for comment outside of
regular office hours.
The last round of formal trade negotiations between the two sides took
place in early June, when Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross traveled to
Beijing. But those unsuccessful talks were overshadowed by the Trump
administration’s announcement days earlier that it was going ahead with
its plan to impose 25% tariffs on $50 billion worth of goods from China.
Beijing had vowed to retaliate, and the two governments introduced the
first wave of tariffs, on $34 billion of each other’s exports, in early
July. Another tit-for-tat round, on $16 billion of each other’s
products, is scheduled for August 23.
Escalating the clash, the Trump administration has announced plans for
yet more tariffs, on about $200 billion of Chinese exports. Beijing has
said it will fire back with new tariffs on $60 billion of US goods.