China: envoys in 'close communication' ahead of U.S. deadline

Andrew Cummings
December 12, 2019

China's government says negotiators are in "close communication" with Washington ahead of a weekend deadline for a US tariff hike.

The United States is due to impose tariffs on nearly $160 billion of Chinese imports such as video game consoles, computer monitors and toys on Sunday.

"They want it, and so do we!" he tweeted five minutes after stocks opened in NY.

US President Donald Trump is expected to meet top trade advisers on Thursday to discuss the move, sources told Reuters previously.

Officials from the world's two biggest economies have been locked in negotiations on a phase-one deal since Trump announced it nearly nine weeks ago.

"The economic and trade teams of both sides have maintained close communication", said the Ministry of Commerce spokesman, Gao Feng.

The U.S. has added a 25-per-cent duty on about US$250 billion of Chinese products and a 15-per-cent levy on another US$110 billion of its imports over the course of a 20-month trade war.

Trump's overall goal with China, a keystone of his presidency, is to uproot what Washington says are Beijing's predatory trade practices, including forced technology transfers and massive intellectual property theft. He said he had no additional details to release.

Trump himself has blown hot and cold, repeatedly insisting that China needs a deal more than the United States does.

If the new round goes into effect, almost all Chinese imports into the United States will be under tariff.

China also said that it will reinstitute on December 15 an additional 25% tariff on US -made vehicles and 5% tariffs on auto parts that had been suspended at the beginning of 2019.

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