U.S. makes trade talks move as pressure mounts ahead of midterms

Trump greenlights tariffs on about $200 billion more in Chinese products – reports

Trump said there was more pressure on China to make a deal, pointing to their shrinking economy.

A worker places U.S. and China flags near the Forbidden City ahead of a visit by U.S. President Donald Trump to Beijing, in Beijing, China November 8, 2017.

The trade war has already contributed to sell-offs in China's stock markets and currency.

The White House believes China will wave the white flag after the next round of tariffs on $200 billion in goods, said William Zarit, the chamber's chairman. "China relationship improves and stabilizes", Parker added.

In a survey by two American chambers of commerce in China, almost two-thirds of USA firms who responded said the waves of new tariffs have harmed their business.

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The basic tenets of the WTO, in opposing protectionism and supporting free trade should not change, but the rights of developing nations should also not be overlooked, he said. Beebe said that could be the consequences of price increases or the psychology around how people make purchasing decisions.

"The issue of WTO reform is extremely complex, and involves many areas".

A broad coalition of US businesses, from farmers to retailers, have, however, been fighting back against Trump's tariffs, warning that they are hurting the USA economy.

In recent meetings with cabinet-level Chinese officials, USCBC representatives were told that licensing won't resume "until the trajectory of the U.S".

China will not buckle to USA demands in any trade negotiations, said the state-run China Daily newspaper on Friday, after Chinese officials welcomed an invitation from Washington for a new round of talks.

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The official China Daily said that while China was "serious" about resolving the stand-off through talks, it would not be rolled over, despite concerns over a slowing economy and a falling stock market at home. American officials also worry they might erode US industrial leadership. "Even as both sides try to engage in negotiations as much as possible, the trade war remains a long-term battle".

The next wave of 25 per cent tariffs on a further $200 billion in imports will loom over any talks - after a public consultation period for affected businesses came to an end last Thursday.

Before his meeting on Thursday, Trump boasted on Twitter that he has the upper hand in the trade feud with Beijing and feels "no pressure" to resolve the dispute.

Christopher McNally, an adjunct senior fellow at the East-West Centre in Hawaii, said the Trump administration may seek a deal on the trade war before the elections, though he cautioned that the USA president could easily throw out any negotiated settlement if he felt it did not "help him politically or doesn't go far enough, doesn't make him look good enough". Our markets are surging, theirs are collapsing.

He also made it clear he was ready to impose tariffs worth $200 billion on goods "very soon" if President Xin Jinping's government refused to back down.

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The damage from the trade war to USA businesses in China includes lost profits, higher manufacturing costs and lower demand for their products, according to the survey of more than 430 companies in industries ranging from technology to health care.

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