US sending trade delegation to China next week

China's trade diplomats will be afterwards sent to Washington for further discussions that begin on 8 May

Photo: EPA US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer

The US will send a high-level delegation to Beijing next week as trade negotiations with China continue, the White House said. As a statement from Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders reads, US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin will head to Beijing, where they will meet with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He for talks that start on 30 April.

 Following those talks, Liu will lead a delegation to Washington for further discussions that begin on 8 May.

The world’s two largest economies have been embroiled in a trade dispute since last year that spooked world markets and hurt global growth. The Trump administration imposed levies on $250bn of Chinese goods, and China retaliated by placing its own tariffs on $110bn of American products. Both sides have met several times in a bid to hammer out a deal to end their protracted trade war. The talks so far have focused on a range of issues including forced technology transfer and structural reforms. Washington has also accused Beijing of intellectual property theft - something China has always denied.

Earlier this month, however, Chinese state news agency Xinhua reported that a new consensus on a US-China trade agreement had been reached. Chinese President Xi Jinping, through a message conveyed by Liu, told President Donald Trump that both sides had made new and substantial progress on key issues regarding trade in the past month, Xinhua reported.

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