China to send negotiator to U.S. for trade talks this month

US-China

US-China

News of the meeting gave a lift to the yuan and helped cap losses in China's stock markets.

A Chinese delegation led by Vice Minister of Commerce Wang Shouwen will meet USA representatives led by Under Secretary of Treasury for International Affairs David Malpass, the Ministry of Commerce said in a statement on its website.

China's commerce ministry reiteratedthat Beijing opposed trade protectionism and would not accept any unilateral trade restrictions.

Those tariffs will be the latest action in an ongoing tit-for-tat exchange of duties between the two countries, prompting concerns of an escalating trade war between the world's two largest economies.

"The lower rank of the delegation suggests that both sides remain far apart, and an agreement reached for this visit is very unlikely", Jonas Short, head of the Beijing office at investment bank Everbright Sun Hung Kai, wrote in a note.

Washington slapped 25% tariffs on $34bn of Chinese goods in early July, leading Beijing to respond with similar levies, and further tariffs on $16bn of Chinese goods are due to come into effect on 23 August.

Beijing has said it will retaliate in kind.

Chinese importers appear to be shying away from buying USA crude oil as they fear Beijing may decide to add the commodity to its tariff list.

While Mr Liu and Mr Ross had also been involved in the four previous rounds, US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin's absence from the coming round rendered it a lower-level meeting. A senior USA government official confirmed the talks and said: "We expect to discuss steps to achieve a more balanced trading relationship".

U.S. crude inventories last week rose 6.8 million barrels even though refinery crude runs hit a record high, Energy Information Administration data showed.

The president has argued that the tariffs are necessary in order to secure better trade deals, even though the US has yet to establish any new agreement since the duties were put in place.

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