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US-China trade talks resume: US officials

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US officials held a phone call on Tuesday with their Chinese counterparts to discuss the ongoing trade conflict between the countries, US officials said.

[WASHINGTON] US officials held a phone call on Tuesday with their Chinese counterparts to discuss the ongoing trade conflict between the countries, US officials said.

It was the first official contact since President Donald Trump and Chinese leader Xi Jinping agreed to resume talks just over a week ago.

US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer "spoke with Vice Premier Liu He and Minister Zhong Shan today to continue negotiations aimed at resolving the outstanding trade disputes between the United States and China," the official said in a statement.

"Both sides will continue these talks as appropriate."

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After talks nearly collapsed in May, Mr Trump and Mr Xi met on June 29 on the sidelines of the Group of 20 summit in Japan and agreed to resume negotiations toward ending their year-long trade war and to refrain from imposing any new tariffs.

The talks that seemed to be nearing conclusion stalled in May after Mr Trump accused the Chinese side of reneging on commitments. He then jacked up duty rates on US$200 billion in Chinese imports.

Washington and Beijing have hit each other with punitive tariffs covering more than US$360 billion in two-way trade and those duties remain in place.

Mr Trump triggered a backlash on Capitol Hill by agreeing to soften some US export restrictions on components to China's telecom giant Huawei.

The United States had imposed tough sanctions on the company, which American officials say Beijing exploits for espionage.

However, Mr Trump stipulated that officials would take care to avoid creating new risks to US national security.

AFP