Trade talks between the U.S. and China are set to resume Oct. 10-11 in Washington, D.C., three people close to the talks told CNBC on Thursday.
Chinese Vice Premier Liu He will be representing the delegation from Beijing, one of the people told CNBC.
Liu visited Washington this spring sporting the title “special envoy,” empowering him to negotiate on behalf of President Xi Jinping and pledge to buy American soybeans in the Oval Office with President Donald Trump.
But Liu was stripped of that title on a subsequent trip, after hardliners within the Communist Party balked at some of the concessions to which he had agreed.
The White House, the Treasury Department and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative did not respond to CNBC’s requests for comment before publication.
Trump administration officials have said they expected the talks with Beijing, which stalled out earlier this year amid disputes over a possible trade deal, to resume next month.
United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer (C) gestures as he chats with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He (R) as US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin (L) looks on after posing for a “family photo” at the Xijiao Conference Centre in Shanghai on July 31, 2019.
Ng Han Guan | AFP | Getty Images
The two economic superpowers in recent weeks have seen a gradual thaw in the tensions that have plagued negotiations over a sweeping deal that would address the U.S. trade deficit with China, intellectual property theft and the forced transfer of technology.
During a multilateral meeting with world leaders on Venezuela at the U.N. General Assembly on Wednesday, Trump told reporters that Chinese leaders “want to make a deal very badly. And it could happen…. It could happen sooner than you think.”
A spokesperson for China’s Ministry of Commerce said Thursday that the country had purchased a “considerable” amount of U.S. soybeans and pork products ahead of the next round of talks. The announcement marked a stark shift in relations from a month earlier, when Beijing said it had suspended all purchases of U.S. agricultural products.
Chinese officials had asked the Trump administration to delay a planned escalation of tariffs on Oct. 1, set to coincide with the politically sensitive anniversary of the People’s Republic. Trump tweeted in September that he would oblige the request. Tariffs on $250 billion in Chinese goods will now rise to 30% on Oct. 15, four days after the next round of talks wraps.
In his speech to the entire U.N. assembly Tuesday, Trump had reaffirmed that he will not accept a “bad deal” with China.
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