China, US to resume trade talks next week

WASHINGTON D.C., May 9, 2019 (Xinhua) — Chinese Vice Premier Liu He receives an interview in Washington D.C., the United States, May 9, 2019. Liu He, a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chief of the Chinese side of the China-U.S. comprehensive economic dialogue, arrived in Washington D.C. on Thursday for the 11th round of high-level economic and trade consultations with the U.S. side. (Xinhua/Liu Jie/IANS)

Beijing, Sep 13 (IANS) Working groups from China and the US will meet next week to resume trade talks aimed at putting an end to the ongoing tariff dispute between the two economic superpowers, Chinese Vice-Premier Liu He has confirmed.

Liu made the remarks at a meeting with chairman of the US-China Business Council, Evan Greenberg, on Thursday night, Xinhua news agency reported.

At the meeting, Liu confirmed that working groups from both countries would meet next week and have “earnest discussions” on their trade balance, market access, protection of investors and other matters of mutual interest.

The Chinese Vice-Premier also welcomed the US’ decision to delay by two weeks a planned tariff hike on Chinese products that was scheduled to take effect on October 1 and said that the world was looking forward to seeing progress in trade talks between both nations.

For his part, Greenberg said that the US’ business sector did not wish to see a hike in tariffs, and hoped that the two countries would resolve their differences through discussions while bringing bilateral trade back to normal.

At next week’s meeting, both delegations will begin preparing for the meeting convened in Washington in early October to resolve the trade war between the two economies, which started in early 2018.

US President Donald Trump announced late Wednesday that a planned hike from 25 to 30 per cent in duties on certain Chinese imports worth $250 billion that was scheduled to take effect on October 1 would be postponed by 15 days to prevent an escalation in trade tensions before the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China, reports Efe news.

Also on Wednesday, China’s Customs Tariff Commission of the State Council postponed the planned 25 per cent tariffs on 16 American products, which were to come into effect on Tuesday, by a year.

These tariffs will now take effect on September 16, 2020, and affects items including fishmeal, some lubricants and raw materials used in cancer drugs.

On September 1, the latest episode in the ongoing trade war between the two superpowers saw the US implement a 5 per cent tariff increase from 10 to 15 per cent on Chinese imports worth $112 billion.

Also, Washington is set to raise to 15 per cent the duties on the remaining goods from China that are still taxed at 10 per cent, reaching $300 billion worth of Chinese products in total, on December 15.

In reaction to the US’ move, China slapped its own tariffs of between 5 and 10 per cent on American products valued at $75 billion.

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