U.S., China Agree to Resume Trade Talks in Washington

The United States and China have agreed to hold a face-to-face meeting to resume trade negotiations after the latest escalation in the ongoing trade war between the world’s two largest economies.

The meeting will be the first one of its kind since the two sides imposed additional tariffs on each other’s products last week. The discussions to resolve the sticking issues between Washington and Beijing are expected to resume in “early October,” said a statement by the Chinese Commerce Ministry released on Thursday morning.

Chinese authorities also said that the country’s Vice Premier and chief trade negotiator Liu He has spoken with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin over the phone about the talks, which Lighthizer’s department confirmed.

Both sides also confirmed that they will continue discussions before the in-person meeting takes place next month in order to “create good conditions for negotiation.”

U.S. trade authorities said that deputy-level meetings this month will “lay the groundwork for meaningful progress.”

Following the news, Asian markets saw a jump in stocks with those in Tokyo and Shanghai advancing 2.3% and 1.5%, respectively. U.S. stock futures likewise saw an increase.

However, news of the planned meeting is to be taken with a grain of salt, as the last such encounter in Shanghai in July ended with little progress being made. In fact, soon after that one, President Donald Trump announced that the U.S. would slap 10% tariffs on Chinese products worth $300 billion, a move immediately followed by retaliatory levies by China on about $75 billion worth of American imports.

The latest round of tariffs that the countries imposed on each other went into effect on September 1, with more on the way.

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