Kudlow: China is sending team to Washington for trade talks

Thursday, August 16, 2018

WASHINGTON (AP) — A Chinese delegation will come to Washington this month for talks to defuse an escalating trade dispute that threatens global economic growth.

White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow told reporters Thursday that the U.S. team will be led by David Malpass, U.S. Treasury under secretary for international affairs. Earlier, the China said it would send a delegation led by a deputy commerce minister.

This meeting would be the first between senior U.S. and Chinese officials since June 3 talks in Beijing ended with no settlement. The United States has already imposed taxes on $34 billion in Chinese goods, drawing Chinese retaliation. President Donald Trump is readying tariffs on $216 billion more, and Beijing has vowed to counterpunch with its own trade sanctions.

"Talking is always better than not talking," said Kudlow, director of the National Economic Council. "We haven't really had a sit-down with them in quite some time at any level. So who knows? But it's got to be a good thing."

In Beijing, the Chinese Commerce Ministry said China Beijing "reiterates its opposition to unilateralism and trade protectionism and does not accept any unilateral trade restrictions."

The world's two biggest economies are battling over China's aggressive campaign to challenge American technological dominance. The U.S. charges that China uses predatory tactics ranging from outright cybertheft to forcing foreign companies to hand over technology as the price of admission to the Chinese market.

Efforts to resolve the dispute have bogged down. In May, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin had declared the trade war "on hold" after China agreed to reduce the U.S. trade deficit by buying more American energy and farm products. But Trump reversed course and announced that the U.S. would go ahead with tariffs on Chinese goods, and Beijing withdrew its offer to step up purchases of American products.

The U.S. trade deficit with China in goods and services — the gap between what the U.S. sells the Chinese and what it buys from them — came to a record $336 billion last year.

Category: