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China cancels trade talks with US as new tariffs loom

NEW YORK: China has scrapped trade talks with the United States days before President Donald Trump is set to escalate the commercial battle with a new round of tariffs, according to a person familiar with the discussion.

Chinese officials canceled the planned negotiations after Trump announced he would impose new levies of up to 10 per cent on another $200 billion in Chinese imports, effective Monday. Beijing vowed to strike back, slapping duties of up to 10pc on an additional $60bn in American products.

China’s Ministry of Commerce did not immediately respond Saturday.

Beijing had prepared to send Vice Premier Liu He, the country’s top-ranking economic official, to Washington next week, along with a mid-level delegation to prepare for his visit, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin had been expected to oversee the talks, which were called in hopes of easing tensions between the world’s two largest economies, US officials have said.

The effort crumbled a week after Trump tweeted the White House felt “no pressure” to resolve the dispute with China. He has accused the country of stealing intellectual property from American businesses, among other trade infractions.

“We are under no pressure to make a deal with China, they are under pressure to make a deal with us,” he wrote, adding: “If we meet, we meet?”

Analysts said the news reflects the breakdown in the international relationship.

Trump’s next opportunity to meet with Xi is in November at the Group of 20 summit in Argentina. Both leaders are expected to attend the multilateral conference.

Bloomberg/The Washington Post Service

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