U.S., China to Resume Trade Talks as Tariffs Bite

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The U.S. side will be lead by Under Secretary of the Treasury for International Affairs David Malpass.

Beijing and Washington started the trade war in July this year each imposing 25 percent tariffs on $34 billion of each other's exports.

Invited by the U.S., the delegation, headed by Commerce Vice Minister Wang Shouwen, will meet with a team of negotiators led by David Malpass, undersecretary for global affairs of the U.S. Treasury Department, the Ministry of Commerce said in a statement (link in Chinese).

Liu Weidong, a U.S. affairs expert at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said a key aspect of Wang's visit was to check whether further formal dialogue between the two nations was possible.

Traders are also saying that short sellers are paring positions in response to the news that Beijing will be sending a delegation to Washington in late August to try to resolve the trade dispute between the world's two largest economies.

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U.S. West Texas Intermediate and international-benchmark Brent crude oil futures are trading slightly lower on Thursday. Wang is also the deputy China worldwide trade representative.

News of the upcoming talks helped Chinese stocks stem losses.

Prices of Chinese farm goods fell amid hopes that supplies of United States soybeans, used to make cooking oil and animal feed, may resume if talks bring an end to the dispute.

The meeting would end what had been a lull in talks between the two sides, but it is unclear whether it will take place before or after August 23, when Washington is due to activate additional tariffs on $16 billion of Chinese goods. Separately, China has said it is prepared to put additional tariffs on 5,207 goods imported from the United States with a total value of $60 billion, ranging from liquefied natural gas to some aircraft. Earlier this month, China announced a list of $60 billion worth of USA imports it plans to apply tariffs on, after Trump ordered officials to consider imposing a 25 percent tax on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods, up from an initial 10 percent rate. But Trump backed away from the agreement and the two nations have been locked in a tit-for-tat trade war ever since.

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