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Top China Trade Negotiator to Visit U.S. as Tariffs Threat Looms

May 07 , 2019

China’s top trade negotiator Liu He will visit the U.S. this week for trade talks, in a sign its leadership is battling to keep negotiations on track after President Donald Trump ratcheted up pressure with plans to raise tariffs on Chinese goods Friday.

Vice Premier Liu will travel to the U.S. for talks from May 9 to May 10 at the invitation of U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, according to a statement on the Chinese Ministry of Commerce website. On Monday, Chinese authorities were said to be considering a delay to the trip, according to people familiar with the plans.

The trade talks were cast into doubt after Trump’s surprise announcement over Twitter on Sunday that he planned to raise tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods to 25 percent from 10 percent because talks were moving too slowly. The president said he may also impose duties “shortly” on $325 billion of Chinese goods that aren’t currently covered, a move that would hit virtually all imports from the Asian nation. 

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