U.S. offers renewed trade talks with China to avert new tariffs

U.S. offers renewed trade talks with China to avert new tariffs

China said to be wary, despite threat of new tariffs on $200 billion in goods

The Trump administration is giving Beijing another chance to try to stave off new tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese exports, asking top officials for a fresh round of trade talks later this month, people briefed on the matter said.

The invitation from Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin comes as some Trump officials said they sense a new vulnerability — and possibly more flexibility — among Chinese officials pressured by U.S. tariffs imposed earlier this year and threats for more.

It also follows a steady rise in political pressure on President Donald Trump to ease up on trade fights — which have pinched consumers and prompted painful retaliation against U.S. exports — ahead of November elections in which his Republican Party risks losing congressional control.

Given the difficult nature of the trade talks between the two countries over the past year, there is no guarantee the invitation will yield a meeting. Chinese officials said they’ve grown wary of the Trump administration’s unpredictable decision-making process and may be hesitant to accept without a clear sign U.S. negotiators have authority to speak for the president.

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