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US, Chinese officials try to head off trade war

US, Chinese officials try to head off trade war

Separately, the White House said US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, and top economic adviser Larry Kudlow, among others, would participate.

The talks, part of a busy week of trade negotiations and tight deadlines, have become enmeshed in political intrigue after an adviser to President Donald Trump, who is considered a hardliner on China, was left out.

China attaches great importance to the role of the U.S. Congress, and is ready to strengthen exchanges with the U.S. legislature, Liu said.

Later, Senate Finance Committee Chair Orrin Hatch, a Republican, sounded a more pessimistic tone over a deal to avert tariffs after he met with Liu. "It was really the beginning of what I think is going to be a lengthy process", he said.

China's Vice-Premier Liu He leads the trade delegation from Beijing.

"Nothing has happened with ZTE except as it pertains to the larger trade deal", Trump wrote on Twitter.

The president surprised many in Washington over the weekend by saying he's working with Xi to help ZTE "get back into business, fast".

"He recognizes there are problems in this trade relationship", Brady said of Liu after the meeting.

The two officials said that Peter Navarro, the White House trade and manufacturing adviser, will not be a principal player on the USA side.

According to press reports, Mr Navarro sparred with Mr Mnuchin over his handling of the China talks and was barred from attending the meetings this week.

He traveled to Beijing with Mnuchin and several others earlier this month, but he was largely marginalized during the visit, said the three people familiar with the visit, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the internal dynamics.

China said Thursday it doesn't want to see increased trade tensions with the U.S.as the two countries hold talks in Washington this week, but it's prepared for any outcome and will defend its own interests.

Liu, also a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chief of the Chinese side of the China-U.S. comprehensive economic dialogue, leads a delegation whose members come from major economic sectors of the Chinese government.

Mnuchin and Navarro are both very close to Trump, but have much different viewpoints on trade policy. After the USA unveiled a list of $50 billion in potential tariffs on Chinese products, Beijing responded with plans to implement billions of dollars in reciprocal penalties on US soybeans, cars and other items. China has vowed to retaliate on everything from US soybeans to airplanes. "And his hope for this trip was to begin to address the trade imbalance, increasing demand of Chinese consumers for USA products, as well as to begin to take steps on the structural reforms". -China trade imbalance and other problems with the trading relationship.

Among the USA lawmakers Liu met with were Orrin Hatch, president pro tempore of the Senate and chairman of the Senate Finance Committee and Kevin Brady, chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee.

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