China says Washington asks to resume talks on tariff fight

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Orit Frenkel, a former US Trade Representative official and president of consulting firm Frenkel Strategies, also said Trump may feel pressure to reach agreements to avoid continuing the trade war with the midterms fast approaching, but that he would want to see significant concessions from China before backing down.

"I think most of us think it's better to talk than not to talk, and I think the Chinese government is willing to talk", Kudlow said, declining to provide any further details.

President Donald Trump has criticized China's record trade surplus with the United States, and has demanded that Beijing cut it immediately, threatening further tariffs on an additional $200-billion worth of goods - and possibly more.

China is clearly under economic duress as its economy slows and the next round of 25 percent tariffs targeting US$200 billion worth of Chinese goods are made ready for launch in Washington.

Two-thirds of American companies that responded to a survey said they have suffered lost sales or lower profits due to that increase, two chambers of commerce reported Thursday.

In a move to defuse trade war tensions, Beijing has welcomed Washington's offer to hold another meeting to sort out their differences.

Beijing has rejected pressure from the United States to roll back plans for state-led development of Chinese global champions in robotics, artificial intelligence and other fields.

Meanwhile, almost a third of companies said they were considering delaying or canceling investments, underscoring the heightened uncertainty created by the trade tensions.

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More than half of U.S. firms are already feeling Beijing's wrath from non-tariff measures like heightened regulatory scrutiny, more inspections and slower customs clearance, according to the survey.

"There seem to be domestic political pressures that are working against the perception of USA companies receiving benefits" during trade disputes, Parker told the South China Morning Post.

That could still happen before the next round of tariffs kick in.

The Trump administration had invited Chinese officials to restart trade talks, the White House's top economic adviser said on Wednesday, news that gave a lift to Asian stocks, including Chinese shares and the yuan currency.

Beijing has issued a list of $60 billion of American products for retaliation if Trump's next tariff hike goes ahead. The US government accuses China of stealing intellectual property and forcing American companies to hand over valuable technology. But the Chinese government has thus far refused to budge on the White House's demands and vowed to retaliate against every American punch.

The White House says tariffs are a response to China's unfair trade policies, which Mr Trump blames for helping to create a huge trade deficit. And further waves of U.S. tariffs are expected to take a toll on China's economy, which has already begun to slow down this year.

Sixty-four percent of companies that responded to the AmCham survey, which was conducted between August 29 and September 5, said the first round of tariffs that Trump slapped on $50 billion in Chinese imports this year have negatively affected their operations, while 63 percent said the same about the equal amount of duties Beijing imposed in retaliation. "But that scenario risks underestimating China's capability to continue meeting fire with fire".

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