China says a high-ranking U.S. delegation will travel to Beijing next week to resume negotiations aimed at resolving the ongoing trade war between the world's two leading economies.
Commerce Ministry spokesman Gao Feng announced Thursday that U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin will visit the Chinese capital next Thursday and Friday, March 28 & 29, followed by a trip to Washington in early April by Chinese Vice Premier Liu He.
The trade war between the United States and China began last year when President Donald Trump imposed punitive tariffs on $250 billion worth of Chinese imports to compel Beijing to change its trading practices.
China has retaliated with its own tariff increases on $110 billion of U.S. exports. The Trump administration is also pushing China to end its practice of forcing U.S. companies to transfer their technology advances to Chinese firms.
Trump had initially imposed a deadline of March 2 for both sides to reach a deal before imposing a hike in tariffs from 10 to 25 percent, but delayed the increase late last month citing 'substantial progress' in the negotiations. But Chinese President Xi Jinping has reportedly cancelled tentative plans to visit Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida next month to sign a final deal, a sign that the talks have stalled.
Trump issued a warning Wednesday that U.S. tariffs could remain in place for a 'substantial period' to ensure that Beijing lives up to any agreement.