The Trump administration has reached out to China for a new round of trade talks as it prepares to activate punitive USA tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods, two people familiar with the matter said Wednesday.
Trump's tariffs are unpopular, and with the midterm elections just two months away, it's a lousy time to escalate his trade war. They plan events in Chicago, Nashville, Pennsylvania and OH starting next week, according to a statement posted on a new website.
The push for additional tariffs is despite the U.S. Treasury secretary's attempt to restart talks with Beijing to resolve the trade war, according to four people familiar with the matter.
China has resorted to the WTO in a bid to build worldwide pressure on the U.S., which it says has failed to comply with an earlier WTO ruling regarding its anti-dumping duties on Chinese imports.
March 22: Trump announces plans to impose 25% tariffs on $US50 billion worth of Chinese goods.China announces tariffs in retaliation to the steel and aluminium duties and promises a response to the latest U.S. announcement.
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.
Trump has also threatened to impose tariffs on an additional $US267 billion worth of Chinese goods, which would mean all Chinese goods sent to the U.S. would be subject to duties.
Washington has proposed a fresh round of trade talks with Beijing to tackle problems before the Trump administration slaps more tariffs on Chinese imports, the Wall Street Journal said on Wednesday (Sep 12).
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Beijing has vowed further response if the U.S. imposes new tariffs.
A Treasury spokesman did not immediately respond to a query on the status of the China talks invitation.
Beijing has rejected pressure from the United States to roll back plans for state-led development of Chinese global champions in robotics, artificial intelligence and other fields.
In recent meetings with cabinet-level Chinese officials, USCBC representatives were told that licensing won't resume "until the trajectory of the U.S".
If Trump can broker a trade-war truce, on the other hand, stocks might rise, and voters would feel better.
China accuses the United States of launching "the largest trade war in economic history" and has retaliated in kind.
One of the highest-profile casualties of the trade war was U.S. chipmaker Qualcomm's (QCOM) $44 billion acquisition of Dutch rival NXP Semiconductors (NXPI), which China killed in July by refusing to grant it regulatory approval.
But given the high stakes for both sides, with Trump pushing for concessions from China but Beijing unlikely to give ground on key policy requests, the trade conflict could continue to escalate into what scholars have already begun to term a new cold war.