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China, U.S. to hold trade talks soon

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Reference:CGTN | Updated:28 Aug 2020

China and the United States have agreed to hold trade talks over the phone in the coming days, China's Ministry of Commerce said Thursday.

The ministry's spokesperson Gao Feng made the remarks when asked to comment on reports that the two countries will soon hold talks to evaluate the progress of their phase-one economic and trade agreement.

The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday that trade negotiators for China and the U.S. plan to discuss progress in fulfilling the terms of the "Phase One" deal between the two nations via video in the coming days.

"I postponed talks with China. You know why? I don't want to deal with them now," Trump had told reporters in Yuma, Arizona on Tuesday during a briefing on construction of a border wall with Mexico. 

But White House officials later clarified that the statement was a general reference and was not specifically aimed at economic and trade agreement.

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said in an interview on Air Force One on Tuesday that no new high-level trade talks have been scheduled between the two sides. 

But he added that U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer remained in regular contact with his counterpart in China about fulfilling its commitments.

Meadows also said that Trump's remarks on the economic and trade agreement with China did not mean that he would abandon the deal and that Trump was still reviewing it.

"I don't have a date for any official talks but it is safe to say, should they continue, it would be between the trade representatives," U.S. Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany confirmed in a regular briefing on Wednesday.

On the same day, White House trade adviser Peter Navarro said in an interview that the phase-one trade deal is still on track. Meanwhile, U.S. oil exports to China may more than double in September.

Data from China's General Administration of Customs (GAC) showed that the total value of China-U.S. trade was 2.03 trillion yuan (about 293.36 billion U.S. dollars) during the first seven months, declining 3.3 percent from a year earlier, accounting for 11.8 percent of China's total foreign trade.

Among them, exports to the U.S. were 1.56 trillion yuan, down 4.1 percent, imports from the U.S. were 475.5 billion yuan, down 0.3 percent, with trade surplus down 5.7 percent.

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