BEIJING – The next round of negotiations to end a trade war between China and the United States will take place in Beijing on March 28-29, the Chinese Ministry of Commerce announced on Thursday.
Ministry spokesperson Gao Feng told reporters that US officials, led by Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, would visit China for the eighth round of talks with the Chinese delegation led by Vice Premier Liu He.
Later, Liu would travel to Washington for the next round of talks to be held in the US capital in early April, the spokesman said.
The China-US trade war began last year after President Donald Trump imposed high tariffs following complaints that China was stealing American trade secrets and forcing companies to transfer technology in exchange for access to its market.
Trump imposed tariffs on a range of goods that the US imports from other countries, particularly China, in a bid to give American manufactures a competitive edge. China retaliated with its tariffs.
Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed during their dinner meeting in Buenos Aires on Dec. 1 to postpone escalating the trade war for 90 days while their administrations negotiated to establish common positions on assorted issues. The deadline was to expire on March 1.
The US president announced in February that he was delaying the tariff hike on hundreds of Chinese import products again since the two sides had made “substantial progress” in the bilateral trade talks.
The president then insisted that he would meet “in the not too distant future” with Xi to refine the details of an eventual agreement.
Trump said the previous round in Washington was “very productive” and progress was made on key issues such as “protection of intellectual property, transfer (forced) technology, agriculture, services, foreign currency and many other issues.”
The trade war between the two largest world economies has generated uneasiness and volatility in international financial markets.
Both the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank have lowered their forecasts of global economic growth as a result of trade tensions between Washington and Beijing.