Why slowing economies could prod US and China to reach deal

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A US government delegation will visit China next week for the first face-to-face talks since US President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping agreed on a temporary truce in the trade war, Beijing has confirmed. The ministry said that it would host the U.S. team on January 7-8 for high-level talks, during which representatives of both parties will discuss "implementing the important consensus" mapped out by Trump and Xi. Its one-sentence announcement gave no other details of the agenda or who else would take part.

Trump has slapped import tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars of Chinese goods as he seeks concessions from Beijing on issues ranging from industrial subsidies to hacking, sparking retaliation by China.

In a separate statement on Friday, USTR said the delegation will also include Under Secretaries from the US Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Energy and Treasury, as well as senior officials from those agencies and the White House.

"The trade tensions between the United States and China put additional pressure on their economy", Cook said in an interview with CNBC Wednesday. "Can they compromise? We'll see". The two sides face a March 1 deadline; the US has promised to hike its import tax from 10 percent to 25 percent on $200 billion of Chinese products if no deal is reached. Auto sales tumbled 16 percent in November over a year earlier and weak real estate sales are forcing developers to cut prices.

"It is hard to solve the trade dispute immediately because the USA demands are too high, especially demands for changes in China's economic and social systems, which it is hard for China to accept", said Song, the economist at Renmin University. "There are a heck of a lot of USA companies that have sales in China that are going to be watching their earnings being downgraded next year until we get a deal with China".

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As Chinese tariffs take a bigger bite out of profits, USA manufacturers with operations there are scrambling to find alternatives.

The makeup of the USA team was announced Friday by the trade representative's office.

China and the United States will hold vice ministerial level trade talks in Beijing on Monday and Tuesday, with the two countries under pressure to end a trade war that is hurting the world's two largest economies and roiling global financial markets. They complain China's companies are treated unfairly in national security reviews of proposed corporate acquisitions, though nearly all deals are approved unchanged.

The U.S. duties are set to increase to 25 percent in January. But few are moving those operations back home, according to in October by the American Chamber of Commerce in South China. An escalating trade war would make the situation even worse.