White House says China has indicated it wants to make trade deal

Trade delegations from Washington and Beijing are scheduled to begin their latest round of talks on Thursday.
Trade delegations from Washington and Beijing are scheduled to begin their latest round of talks on Thursday.PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - The United States has received an indication from China that Beijing wants to make a trade deal, White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said on Wednesday (May 8), after Washington announced it will raise tariffs on US$200 billion (S$272 billion) worth of Chinese imports.

Trade delegations from Washington and Beijing are scheduled to begin their latest round of talks on Thursday. 

“We got an indication they want to make a deal,” Sanders told reporters. “Our teams are in continued negotiations. They’re going to sit down tomorrow. We’ll see what happens from there.”

A Reuters report earlier quoted US government and private-sector sources as saying China had backtracked on almost all aspects of a draft trade agreement with the United States. 

The United States will raise tariffs on US$200 billion worth of Chinese imports to 25 per cent from 10 per cent effective on Friday, according to a notice posted to the Federal Register on Wednesday. 

US President Donald Trump said in a tweet on Wednesday that he would be “very happy with over US$100 Billion a year in Tariffs filling US coffers”.