Tariff hikes loom as US, Chinese officials meet

Beijing appealed to Washington to meet it halfway to salvage a deal.
Beijing appealed to Washington to meet it halfway to salvage a deal.PHOTO: AFP

With US tariff hikes on Chinese goods set to be triggered at 12.01pm today Singapore time, China's top trade envoy, Vice-Premier Liu He, has been holding discussions in Washington with US President Donald Trump's top negotiator Robert Lighthizer, hoping to stave off the planned increases.

Mr Trump had said at a rally in Florida on Wednesday that China "broke the deal", and vowed not to back down on imposing new tariffs on Chinese imports unless Beijing "stops cheating our workers".

He said yesterday that he had just received a "beautiful letter" from Chinese President Xi Jinping, adding that he will probably speak to Mr Xi by phone soon. He also indicated it is possible to get a trade deal with China this week.

Beijing appealed earlier yesterday to Washington to meet it halfway to salvage a deal.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 10, 2019, with the headline 'Tariff hikes loom as US, Chinese officials meet'. Print Edition | Subscribe