China hopes US will create conditions necessary for Sept trade talks, Latest World News - The New Paper

China hopes US will create conditions necessary for Sept trade talks

This article is more than 12 months old

BEIJING: China and the US are discussing the next round of face-to-face trade talks scheduledfor next month, but hopes for progress hinge on whether Washington can create favourable conditions, China's commerce ministry said yesterday.

In the latest tit-for-tat escalation of the trade war between the world's two largest economies, US President Donald Trump last Friday heaped an additional duty of 5 per cent on about US$550 billion (S$763 billion) in targeted Chinese goods.

The move came hours after China had unveiled retaliatory tariffs on US$75 billion worth of US goods.


China hopes the US can cancel the planned additional tariffs to avoid an escalation in the trade war, its commerce ministry spokesman Gao Feng told reporters on Thursday.

"The most important thing at the moment is to create necessary conditions for both sides to continue negotiations," he said during a weekly briefing, adding that China was lodging a "solemn representation" with the US.

Mr Gao reiterated that China had "ample" retaliatory measures if Washington eventually moved to impose the planned tariffs, but was willing to resolve the issue calmly.

On Monday, Mr Trump predicted a trade deal with China, saying he believed it was sincere about wanting to reach a deal, citing what he called increasing economic pressure on Beijing and job losses there.

Mr Trump cited as a positive sign comments by Vice-Premier Liu He, who has been leading the talks with Washington, that China was willing to resolve the dispute through "calm" negotiations.

He repeated his assertion that Chinese officials had contacted US trade counterparts overnight, offering to resume negotiations, a statement that China declined to confirm. - REUTERS