United States companies in China say tariffs are hurting

The hope is that Thailand can reap the windfall from relocation of China-based multinationals- but all Asean economies hope for the same gains

His first round of tariffs this summer hit US$50 billion in Chinese products like high-end technology parts and manufactured goods, while Beijing fired back dollar-for-dollar at USA soybeans, autos and other farm goods.

China welcomed on Thursday a USA offer to hold fresh trade talks, adding that the two are discussing the details and providing some hope the world's top economies could step back from the brink of an all-out trade war.

China's Commerce Minister confirmed it received the invitation but after this tweet from Trump, you have to wonder how much there is to negotiate.

News that US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin had invited senior Chinese officials for talks comes just under a week after President Donald Trump threatened to impose tariffs on all Chinese imports worth US$500 billion.

This latest tweet underscores that concern.

In Washington, White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow sounded a cautious note about the possible outcome of talks.

"We share the concerns of the United States regarding China's trade and investment practices, but continuing along the path of tariff escalation is extremely unsafe", warned Harborn. "And so, Secretary Mnuchin, who is the team leader with China, has apparently issued an invitation".

Two people familiar with the effort said Mnuchin's invitation was sent to his Chinese counterparts, including Vice Premier Liu He, the top economic adviser to Chinese President Xi Jinping, for talks in coming weeks, with the time and the venue still to be agreed.

Beijing has pledged to hit back with five to 25 per cent tariffs on $60 billion in U.S. imports in retaliation for any measures from the US.

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Yu Zhi, an global trade specialist at the Shanghai University of Finance and Economics, urged Beijing to resolve Washington's fundamental and long-standing problems with its trade practices in any negotiations that take place to avoid further expanding the trade war.

"I think most of us think it's better to talk than not to talk, and I think the Chinese government is willing to talk", Kudlow said.

Two-thirds of American companies that responded to a survey said they have suffered lost sales or lower profits due to that increase, two chambers of commerce reported Thursday. "AmCham China and AmCham Shanghai urge both governments to return to the negotiating table".

But Kudlow was non-committal over the chances of a breakthrough, adding: "I guarantee nothing".

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

So far, the United States and China have hit US$50 billion worth of each other's goods with tariffs in a dispute over U.S. demands that China make sweeping economic policy changes, including ending joint venture and technology transfer policies, rolling back industrial subsidy programs and better protecting American intellectual property.

The United States and China have so far slapped tariffs of 25% on more than $50 billion worth of each other's exports and more are in the pipeline.

US business groups are escalating their fight against Trump's tariffs, with over 60 industry groups launching a coalition to put political pressure on the Trump administration to seek alternatives to tariffs.

So far, the United States and China have hit $50 billion worth of each other's goods with tariffs in a dispute over USA demands that China make sweeping economic policy changes, including ending joint venture and technology transfer policies, rolling back industrial subsidy programs and better protecting American intellectual property.

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