China welcomes USA invitation for new round of trade talks

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It was unclear whether any U.S. So, as Trump's tariff hikes on Chinese imports keep ramping up, China is naturally running out of room to retaliate.

Washington has offered to restart negotiations with Beijing as the trade war escalates, a move analysts say reflects pressure on the White House ahead of critical midterm elections and a weaker Chinese negotiating position as its economy slows.

Senior U.S. officials led by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin recently sent an invitation to their Chinese counterparts, including Vice Premier Liu He, to hold another bilateral trade meeting.

Roughly three-in-four firms surveyed said duties on an additional $200-billion worth of Chinese goods would hurt business further, and close to 70 per cent said additional retaliatory Chinese tariffs would be bad for business.

China welcomed on Thursday a U.S. offer to hold fresh trade talks, adding that the two are discussing the details and providing some hope the world's top economies could step back from the brink of an all-out trade war.

There was no immediate reaction by the US Treasury department to the report.

Former Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez, who served under former President George W. Bush, said he worries that US tariffs would push China "over the cliff" and end up hurting the global economy. "That's what we've been asking for months and months".

Washington D.C. will regret its trade dispute with Beijing when United States tariffs end up slowing down China economy significantly, said former U.S. Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez.

"If we meet, we meet?" he said.

But Kudlow was non-committal over the chances of a breakthrough, adding: "I guarantee nothing".

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Such a meeting could take place in Washington or Beijing, according to informed sources.

A day earlier, more than 60 US industry groups launched a coalition - Americans for Free Trade - to take the fight against the tariffs public.

The last talks, between mid-level USA and Chinese officials on August 22 and 23, failed to reach any agreement.

About 30 per cent said they were adjusting supply chains by seeking to source components and/or assembly outside the USA, and about the same number were seeking to source components and/or assembly outside China.

The escalating trade spat between Washington and Beijing has generated turbulence in global markets.

The invitation, first reported by the Wall Street Journal, comes amid a swelling chorus of opposition to tariffs from Western business circles.

US President Donald Trump said last week that in addition to preparing tariffs on the further US$200 billion worth of goods, he had tariffs on an additional US$267 billion worth of goods ready "on short notice if I want".

More than 60% of USA companies polled said the US tariffs were already affecting their business operations, while a similar percentage said Chinese duties on US goods were having an impact on business.

To avoid the tariffs, 30 percent of US companies are looking at moving assembly out of the United States or China or finding new suppliers, the chambers said.

"This survey affirms our concerns: tariffs are already negatively impacting US companies and the imposition of a proposed $200 billion tranche will bring a lot more pain", said AmCham Shanghai chairman Eric Zheng.

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