China trade delegation to meet Monday, Tuesday

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US officials are heading to Beijing next week for the first face-to-face talks since Trump and China's President Xi Jinping in December agreed to a 90-day truce in the trade war as they sought to strike a deal.

Deputy US Trade Representative Jeffrey Gerrish will lead the US delegation for the talks on Monday and Tuesday, the Commerce Ministry said in a statement. Its one-sentence announcement gave no other details of the agenda or who else would take part.

Now China and the United States face a key March deadline for talks to end the damaging trade war, or Washington could proceed with a sharp hike in U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods originally set for January 1 and Beijing could retaliate.

In addition to Gerrish, the official delegation will also include David Malpass, the Treasury Department's undersecretary for global affairs.

China's economy is slowing. But they reject pressure to scrap technology initiatives they see as a path to prosperity and global influence.

Now China and the United States face a March deadline for talks to end the damaging trade war, or Washington could proceed with a sharp hike in USA tariffs and Beijing could retaliate. There are fears of both sides hiking tariffs if no deal is reached. Auto sales tumbled 16 percent in November over a year earlier and weak real estate sales are forcing developers to cut prices.

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As a result, around 800,000 public workers have been unpaid, with about a quarter of the federal government closed for two weeks. Trump is set to meet top Democratic lawmakers Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer in a bid to break the long impasse.

Those familiar said other U.S. attendees include Mr Gil Kaplan, Undersecretary of Commerce for International Trade; Mr Ted McKinney, Undersecretary of Agriculture for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs; and Ms Merry Lin, director for global and Asia economics at the National Security Council. Some U.S. demands would require structural reform that may be unpalatable for Chinese leaders.

U.S. officials will travel to Beijing for talks on Monday and Tuesday next week, with China's Ministry of Commerce saying it hopes the talks will be "positive and constructive".

The makeup of the USA team was announced Friday by the trade representative's office. They complain China's companies are treated unfairly in national security reviews of proposed corporate acquisitions, though nearly all deals are approved unchanged. The shares closed at US$148.26 on Friday, down about 5.1 percent for the week.

Donald Trump said Thursday that US Treasury Department has gained billions of dollars from tariffs on Chinese imports, duties that he said were necessary due to Beijing's unfair trade practices.

Another 33 percent of companies said they plan to move out of China in the next six to 12 months, according to the UBS report. On Thursday, privately held grains trader Cargill announced worse-than-expected results out of China.

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