US, Chinese officials try to head off trade war

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Assistant to the President for Trade and Manufacturing Policy Peter Navarro, Assistant to the President for Economic Policy Larry Kudlow, and Deputy Assistant to the President for International Economic Affairs Everett Eissenstat participated in the US trade delegation in China. He co-authored a 2011 book entitled "Death by China: Confronting the Dragon - a Global Call to Action", which focused on his perceptions of China's economic policies. Navarro, who is the voice of protectionist trade policies inside the Trump administration, grew frustrated with the direction Mnuchin was taking at the talks and was upset that other officials were getting shut out of meetings with the Chinese in favor of Mnuchin engaging in one-on-one talks with China's Vice Premier Liu He, the sources said.

The U.S. congressmen said that formal talks with the administration were due to begin on Thursday. Both officials spoke on condition of anonymity.

The US has threatened to impose 25 per cent punitive duties on up to US$150 billion (S$201.04 billion) in Chinese goods, while China has targeted US$50 billion in American exports.

Spokesman Gao Feng also told reporters that China hopes the US will take "concrete action" to resolve a case involving Chinese tech company ZTE, which Washington hit with a crippling ban on buying from USA suppliers after it violated US sanctions.

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The president surprised many in Washington over the weekend by saying he's working with Xi to help ZTE "get back into business, fast".

"Nothing has happened with ZTE except as it pertains to the larger trade deal", Trump said in a series of tweets Wednesday.

Trump on Monday had defended his decision to revisit penalties on ZTE for flouting US sanctions on trade with Iran, in part by saying it was reflective of the larger trade deal the United States is negotiating with China.

This week's talks are taking place against the backdrop of three days of hearings on the administration's plan to impose tariffs on an initial $50 billion worth of Chinese goods to put pressure on China to do a better job of protecting US intellectual property and to halt practices that force American companies to transfer technology.

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Uncertainty over relations between the USA and China has roiled financial markets and raised concerns among businesses anxious about a trade war. They also said he has of late "behaved erratically and unprofessionally".

Ahead of the meetings at Treasury, the Chinese delegation has been meeting with lawmakers on Capitol Hill. -China trading relationship, according to House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady. -China flights, a person familiar with the episode said.

Liu told the group of House representatives on Wednesday that he wanted to address trade imbalances by increasing Chinese demand for American products, Brady said.

However, Mr Ross has said twice in the past week that the two sides had exchanged detailed lists of demands. Asked if the Trump administration will move forward with proposed levies on Chinese goods, Hatch said "I think they will go into effect".

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