Chinese Envoy Going to US to Prepare for Trade Talks

September 17, 2019 Updated: September 17, 2019

BEIJING—A Chinese envoy will head to Washington on Sept. 18 to prepare for trade negotiations.

The announcement follows conciliatory gestures by both sides ahead of planned October talks on their fight over trade and technology.

A deputy finance minister, Liao Min, will lead a delegation to “pave the way” for the 13th round of negotiations, the official Xinhua News Agency said on Sept. 17. It gave no details of the agenda.

The two countries have raised tariffs on billions of dollars of each other’s goods.

Beijing announced Sept. 13 it will lift punitive tariffs on American soybeans, China’s biggest import from the United States. That followed President Donald Trump’s decision to postpone a tariff increase on Chinese imports. But there has been no sign of progress on the core issues in their sprawling dispute.

Negotiations between Washington and Beijing broke down in May over how to enforce any deal.

Beijing says Trump’s tariff increases must be lifted as soon as an agreement takes effect. Washington wants to keep some in place to ensure Chinese compliance.

Trump and Chinese leader Xi Jinping agreed in June to resume talks, but the last round in Shanghai in July produced no progress.

Washington wants Beijing to roll back plans for state-led development of leaders in robotics and other technologies that some American officials worry will erode U.S. industrial leadership.

The World Bank and a Chinese Cabinet agency, in a report issued Sept. 17, urged Beijing to open markets, and curb subsidies and official involvement in technology industries that it says might hamper development instead of promoting it.

RECOMMENDED