US and China agree to October trade talks in Washington

News comes days after newest round of tariffs, WTO lawsuit filed by Beijing

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(AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Less than a week after both Beijing and Washington implemented new tariffs, China’s Ministry of Commerce has announced that the two nations are preparing to resume trade talks in October.

The talks, which will reportedly take place in Washington D.C., were agreed to over the phone on Thursday (Sept. 5) by China’s Vice Premier Liu He, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, reports the Wall Street Journal.

The two sides will reportedly “maintain close communication” ahead of the talks to create “favorable conditions for consultations” according to the ministry’s statement. The news comes just days after China announced it had filed a lawsuit with the World Trade Organization (WTO) on Monday (Sept. 2), the day after the newest tariffs went into effect.

On Sept. 1, the U.S. introduced 15 percent tariffs on US$112 billion worth of Chinese goods, including textile products. This is in addition to the 25 percent tariffs on US$250 billion worth of Chinese goods that have been in place since June.

The 25 percent tariffs already in place will be raised to 30 percent from Oct. 1. Additionally, a new round of 15 percent tariffs on US$160 billion worth of goods, including electronic products, will go into effect from Dec. 1.

CNN reports that markets around the world began to rally after news that the two sides were resuming trade talks in the coming weeks. Over the last week, President Trump has consistently claimed that his tariffs were having their desired effect and that Beijing is “eager to make a deal.”