China says Washington asks to resume talks on tariff fight

President Donald Trump holds an Oval Office meeting at the White House on Sept. 11 2018. LEAH MILLIS  Reuters

China accuses the United States of launching "the largest trade war in economic history" and has retaliated in kind.

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

"If nearly a half of American companies anticipate a strong negative impact from the next round of USA tariffs, then the US administration will be hurting the companies it should be helping".

"The Trump administration should not be mistaken that China will surrender to the US demands".

A day earlier, more than 60 USA industry groups launched a coalition - Americans for Free Trade - to take the fight against the tariffs public. -China trade talks and action by Turkey and Russian Federation to support their currencies helped foster a positive mood.

White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow would not confirm the meeting invitation, but said that communication with Beijing had "picked up a notch".

Asked if the Trump administration would like to have additional trade talks with China, Kudlow said: "If they come to the table in a serious way to generate some positive results, yes of course. That's what we've been asking for months and months".

"Tariffs are already negatively impacting United States companies and the imposition of a proposed $200 billion tranche will bring a lot more pain", Eric Zheng, chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai, said Thursday in a statement.

More companies say they will suffer if Trump goes ahead with his planned tariff hike and Beijing retaliates, according to the American Chambers of Commerce in China and in Shanghai.


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

The talks could stave off the growing costs for American firms, though the two sides have failed to reach an agreement over several rounds of negotiations in spring and summer.

About 30 per cent said they were adjusting supply chains by seeking to source components and/or assembly outside the USA, and about the same number were seeking to source components and/or assembly outside China.

The tweet appeared aimed at a Wall Street Journal report about Mr. Mnuchin's invitation.

The US and China have slapped tariffs on $50bn of one another's goods this year in an escalating trade war between the world's two largest economies.

Beijing has pledged to hit back with five to 25 per cent tariffs on $60 billion in United States imports in retaliation for any measures from the US.

U.S. President Donald Trump said last week that in addition to preparing tariffs on the further $200 billion worth of goods, he had tariffs on an additional $267 billion worth of goods ready "on short notice if I want".

The U.S. -China Business Council (USCBC), a nonpartisan non-profit representing around 200 American companies, told Observer that, in recent weeks, the council has been hearing from U.S. companies about delays and challenges getting licensing approvals in China.

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