The Trump administration has proposed new talks with China in an effort to avoid slapping new tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese exports, The Wall Street Journal reported.
Steve Mnuchin, the Treasury Secretary, has reportedly sent an invitation to his colleagues in China — specifically Vice Premier Liu He — for discussions surrounding bilateral trade. There was no sign where the potential talks would take place, both Washington and Beijing having been proposed, but the Treasury Department would not confirm any hard details.
The invitation comes as the war of words between the leadership of both nations has escalated, both countries threatening economic retaliation and increased tariffs in what could quickly become a full-blown trade war. As previously reported by the Inquisitr, the Trump administration is proposing additional tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese products — with Beijing promising a response in the form of damaging tariffs on up to 85 percent of American imports to the communist state.
Those within the Treasury Department who are aware of the invitation said to the Wall Street Journal that President Donald Trump has authorized Mnuchin to initiate the talks, presumably in an attempt to get things back on track between the two nations and large-scale trading partners. That has been an agenda item that Mnuchin has reportedly been campaigning for behind closed doors in the White House for some time.
US bid for China trade talks boosts Asian equities https://t.co/O39PKDHKx9— Financial Times (@FT) September 13, 2018
In response to the news of an invite, Chinese officials said they welcomed talks, according to Business Insider, with officials confirming that they are discussing the details of the prospective talks with their U.S. counterparts.
“China has always held that an escalation of the trade conflict is not in anyone’s interests. In fact, from last month’s preliminary talks in Washington, the two sides’ trade-talk teams have maintained various forms of contact and held discussions on the concerns of each side,” said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang.
The market was quick to respond to talk about negotiations between the two countries, with Chinese companies seeing their stock prices rise in global markets and the Yuan seeing a slight bump alongside rising financial tides.
Businesses in both nations have opposed the tariffs, with several business lobby groups speaking against it. The invitation comes out on the same day that the American Chamber of Commerce branches — in both China and Shanghai — released a survey showing the negative impacts of suggested tariffs. Over 60 percent of companies said that those tariffs were already impacting their business operations, which led the lobbyist group to encourage the administration to discontinue the negative economic pressure.
Since the start of the tense discussions between the two countries, more than 60 industry groups have joined in a unified lobbying effort, Americans for Free Trade, to try and fight the tariffs.