BEIJING – Negotiating teams from China and the United States will meet in Washington in early October to continue looking for a solution to their trade war, Beijing’s Ministry of Commerce said in a brief statement on Thursday.
“The two sides agreed to hold the 13th round of China-US high-level economic and trade consultations in Washington in early October, after (which) the two sides will maintain close communication,” the statement said.
It added that their working teams will hold in-depth meetings in mid-September to prepare for “substantive progress of the high-level consultations,” and both sides agreed they should “work together and take practical actions to create favorable conditions for the negotiations.”
The agreement for this new round of talks comes after a phone call between the parties, according to the statement.
The conversation involved Chinese vice premier and chief negotiator Liu He, Commerce Minister Zhong Shan, Central Bank Governor Yi Gang, and deputy director of the National Development and Reform Commission, Ning Jizhen.
The US side was represented by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer.
This was the first contact between the two sides since the new Chinese and US tariffs on one another’s products came into effect on Sunday.
Meanwhile, the Tokyo Stock Exchange jumped by more than 2 percent during the first half of trading following the talks announcement.
In the mid-session break, the benchmark Nikkei index increased by 481.94 points, or 2.33 percent, to 21,131.08 points, crossing the psychological barrier of 21,000 points for the first time since Aug. 1. The broader-based Topix index recorded an increase of 31.91 points, or 2.12 percent, reaching 1,538.72.
The US-China trade war, triggered by Trump’s aggressive protectionism since coming to power in January 2017, reached its peaked in May, with the imposition of a 25 percent tariff on Chinese imports worth $250 billion, almost half of the total.
Beijing responded with similar levies on $110 billion of US imports.
Trump aims to balance trade between the two countries, which has been largely favorable to China. However, so far, his policy of imposing tariffs on Chinese imports has produced little or no effect.
Trade tensions between the world’s two largest economies have had an impact in many parts of the world. The International Monetary Fund, in its latest forecasts, lowered its global growth projections to 3.2 percent this year, 0.1 less than in April.