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US, China to talk trade Thursday: Trump

2 min

Washington (AFP)

President Donald Trump said US and Chinese trade officials were due to hold discussions on Thursday, days before Washington is due to raise tariffs on billions in Chinese goods.

"There's a talk scheduled for today at a different level," Trump told Fox News Radio, without elaborating.

He rebutted prior news reports skeptical of his claims that Beijing and Washington held talks by telephone last week.

"Yes, they've been talking," he said.

The US Trade Representative's office, which is leading the US negotiations with China, did not immediately respond to an AFP request for comment.

Earlier on Thursday, China's Commerce Ministry helped cheer stock markets by signaling that Beijing may not respond in kind to Trump's latest tariff increases and were still willing to negotiate.

Earlier this week, Chinese officials appeared to dispute Trump's claims that the sides had held telephone calls, saying they were not aware of any communications.

After a sharp deterioration this month in the year-long trade war, Washington on Sunday is due to begin the first of a new wave of tariff increases on Chinese goods, drawing warnings from various industries about falling profits and recession from trade groups.

Trump earlier this month called for 10 percent tariffs on $300 billion in goods that would hit September 1 and December 15. But after Beijing retaliated by targeting $75 billion in US exports, Trump raised the new tariffs to 15 percent.

In addition, existing 25 percent duties on $250 billion in Chinese products will rise to 30 percent starting October 1.

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