Treasury Secretary Mnuchin to lead United States trade talks with China

China US Trade

China US Trade

The United States and China launch trade talks on Thursday in a bid to avert a damaging tariff war, with the White House's harshest China critic relegated to a supporting role, senior Trump administration officials said on Wednesday.

"Nothing has happened with ZTE except as it pertains to the larger trade deal", Trump wrote on Twitter.

White House trade adviser Peter Navarro said Sunday that he believes President TrumpDonald John TrumpOregon governor to face state rep in November Ashford, Eastman neck and neck in Nebraska Dem primary Progressive pick Wild wins Dem primary for Pa. House seat MORE's exchange of tariff threats with Beijing will serve as a "wake-up call" for Americans about unfair Chinese economic policies.

Navarro's strong anti-China views and skepticism of free trade helped to build Trump's early economic agenda.

He traveled to Beijing with Mnuchin and several others earlier this month, but he was largely marginalized during the visit, said the three people familiar with the visit, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the internal dynamics. Liu, who has already met USA negotiators led by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin in Beijing this month, is said to be optimistic that an agreement can be reached, CNBC reported.

In addition to its request on the trade deficit, the USA asked Beijing to stop subsidies for high-tech sectors such as robotics and aerospace that are targeted for development in the "Made in China 2025" plan and to promise not to retaliate against US farm goods for any tariffs that the United States might impose. Trump has threatened to impose tariffs on as much as $150 billion in Chinese imports to punish Beijing for violating American intellectual-property rights.

Spokesman Gao Feng also told reporters that China hopes the US will take "concrete action" to resolve a case involving Chinese tech company ZTE, which Washington hit with a crippling ban on buying from USA suppliers after it violated US sanctions.

Mnuchin and Navarro are both very close to Trump, but have much different viewpoints on trade policy. However, U.S. trade officials said if they take that step they will hold a second public comment period and hearing.

He is Chinese President Xi Jinping's top trade official and was involved in Beijing-based talks with the US trade delegation two weeks ago.

In his meeting with Kissinger, Liu congratulated the veteran diplomat on his upcoming 95th birthday, and hailed his long-time commitment to China-U.S. friendship. -China Business Council, said it is unclear whether major progress would be made. "And his hope for this trip was to begin to address the trade imbalance, increasing demand of Chinese consumers for US products, as well as to begin to take steps on the structural reforms". Asked if the Trump administration will move forward with proposed levies on Chinese goods, Hatch said "I think they will go into effect".

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