Tue | Jul 16, 2019

US, China wield threats going into high-stakes trade talks

Published:Thursday | May 9, 2019 | 9:23 AM
Two barges push a container ship to the dockyard in Qingdao in eastern China's Shandong province Wednesday, May 8, 2019. China's exports fell unexpectedly in April, adding to pressure on Beijing ahead of negotiations on ending a tariff war with Washington over Chinese technology ambitions. (Chinatopix Via AP)

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. and Chinese negotiators are to resume trade talks Thursday just hours before the United States is set to raise tariffs on Chinese imports in a dramatic escalation of tensions between the world’s two biggest economies.

In Beijing, Chinese officials said they will retaliate if President Donald Trump goes ahead with more tariff hikes, adding to the heated rhetoric from both sides that was shaking stock markets around the world.

The talks starting up again in Washington were thrown into disarray this week after top U.S. trade negotiator Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin accused the Chinese of reneging on commitments they’d made earlier.

In response to the alleged backsliding, the United States is raising tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese imports from 10% to 25% at 12:01 a.m. Eastern time Friday.

The two countries are sparring over U.S. allegations that China steals technology and pressures American companies into handing over trade secrets, part of an aggressive campaign to turn Chinese companies into world leaders in robotics, electric cars and other advanced industries.

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