US team to visit China for talks during trade truce

US trade delegation to travel to China next month: Report

Deputy U.S. Trade Representative Jeffrey Gerrish will lead the Trump administration's team heading to Beijing in the week of January 7, people familiar told Bloomberg News on Wednesday.

China's Commerce Ministry says the country plans to hold trade talks with USA representatives in January.

It will be the first time the two sides will meet face to face since U.S. President Donald Trump and China's Xi Jinping agreed to de-escalate a trade war during a meeting in Argentina on December 1.

That call came after the two sides discussed "economic and trade issues" by phone earlier in that week, the ministry said.

Word of the meeting follows small signs of progress -- and the absence of new threats from Trump -- while the two sides work to ease trade tensions by March 1.

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In response, China said it will suspend additional tariffs on US-made vehicles and auto parts for the same period and has resumed purchasing United States soybeans for the first time in six months, even though hefty tariffs on USA cargoes remain in place.

For months, the USA and China have engaged in tit-for-tat increases in tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars' worth of exports flowing between the two countries. China wants the U.S.to remove the punitive tariffs that have been imposed and not add new ones, but suspects the US will ask for more before it agrees to do that, the people said.

A worker places U.S. and China flags near the Forbidden City ahead of a visit by U.S. President Donald Trump to Beijing, in Beijing, China November 8, 2017. He is pushing the Asian nation to reduce trade barriers and stop alleged theft of intellectual property.

"The Chinese and United States economic and trade teams have always maintained close communication", said commerce ministry spokesman Gao Feng at a regular briefing. The two leaders also agreed to launch new talks while the United States delayed a planned January 1 tariff increase until March 2. Gao provided no date and said both countries continue to maintain close communication.

China's Commerce Ministry announced the meeting plans Thursday. Lighthizer, who isn't scheduled to join the delegation in China, left no wiggle room for the two countries to extend talks beyond 90 days, saying this month that March 1 was a "hard deadline" that was endorsed by Trump.

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