Top U.S. and Chinese negotiators will meet in Washington next month to pick up on talks to try to end the trade war that is weighing heavily on U.S. farmers and manufacturers, according to Xinhua News, a Chinese government-run media outlet.
“The two sides agreed to hold the 13th round of China-U.S. high-level economic and trade consultations in early October in Washington and maintain close communication before that,” says Xinhua.
Chinese Vice Premier Liu He said Thursday in Beijing that he has accepted an offer from U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, but the meeting will not be held this month as was previously expected.
President Donald Trump last month at the G-7 summit in Biarritz, France, predicted the talks would resume, but the latest escalation in tariffs complicated matters, spurring stern rhetoric from both sides.
Just Wednesday, Trump told reporters China is desperate for an end to the trade war.
“China has now had the worst year that they've had in 57 years,” Trump said. “This is the worst year they've had in 57 years. And they want to make a deal. We'll see what happens.”
Trump also declared that the U.S. ag sector is supporting the disputes with China after he approved two aid packages worth as much as $28 billion.
But the government funds have not come close to making up for the damage to U.S. agricultural exports and farmers also want the trade war to end, say some American farm group leaders.
“The Trump Administration must focus on keeping the negotiations with China on course to resolve this trade war,” American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall said in a statement released this week. “Farmers and ranchers are grateful for mitigation payments, too. For many, those payments are the single-most critical factor in their ability to stay in farming for a little while longer. But let’s be clear: Those payments do not make them whole, especially with additional challenges from Mother Nature. Many farmers and ranchers cannot withstand continued uncertainty in trade. We must restore and expand markets.”
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