Published: Fri, September 14, 2018
Markets | By Noel Gibbs

U.S. Invites China to Trade Talks as Tariffs Loom

U.S. Invites China to Trade Talks as Tariffs Loom

"The Trump administration should not be mistaken that China will surrender to the USA demands". -China Business Council, said this week Chinese officials told it they were postponing accepting license applications from American companies in financial services and other fields until relations improve.

News confirmed by White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow that the Trump administration had invited Chinese officials to restart trade talks gave a lift to Asian stocks, including Chinese shares and the yuan currency.

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin on Wednesday invited Chinese officials to a new round of talks later this month over US threatened tariffs on Chinese exports worth $200 billion, and a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman told reporters Thursday that Beijing welcomed the invitation.

His first round of tariffs this summer hit US$50 billion in Chinese products like high-end technology parts and manufactured goods, while Beijing fired back dollar-for-dollar at United States soybeans, autos and other farm goods.

China welcomed on Thursday a United States offer to hold fresh trade talks, adding that the two are discussing the details and providing some hope the world's top economies could step back from the brink of an all-out trade war.

The Journal reported that the US reached out because of political pressure on Trump to ease up on trade fights ahead of November's midterm elections.

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American companies in China are being hurt by tariffs in the growing trade war between Washington and Beijing, according to a survey of hundreds of firms, prompting the US business lobbies behind the poll to urge the Trump administration to reconsider its approach. "That's what we've been asking for months and months". "If we meet, we meet?"

But Kudlow was non-committal over the chances of a breakthrough, adding: "I guarantee nothing". "Likewise, Trump's ill-advised trade war, which started in January when he approved the tariffs on imported washing machines, is really largely a war on Americans".

The timing and location of the proposed meeting were unclear, the sources familiar with the matter said.

Mid-level USA and Chinese officials met on August 22 and 23 with no agreements.

Just six percent, meanwhile, said they would consider moving factories to US soil.

On Wednesday, more than 60 US industry groups launched a coalition - Americans for Free Trade - to take the fight against the tariffs public.

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The escalating trade spat between Washington and Beijing has generated turbulence in global markets.

Trump said last week that he also had tariffs on an additional $267 billion worth of goods ready "on short notice if I want".

"There seem to be domestic political pressures that are working against the perception of USA companies receiving benefits" during trade disputes, Parker told the South China Morning Post.

The invitation, first reported by the Wall Street Journal, comes amid a swelling chorus of opposition to tariffs from Western business circles.

Some 63.6 percent of more than 430 companies that responded to the American chambers' survey said profits and customer demand have fallen due to the US tariffs and 62.5 percent said the same about retaliatory Chinese tariffs.

Trump has already imposed 25-per cent customs duties on US$50 billion worth of Chinese goods, triggering a tit-for-tat response from Beijing.

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