IPhones, Switches and toys on the table in US-China trade talks

China US Trade

"They want it, and so do we!"

Officials from the world's two biggest economies have been locked in negotiations on a phase-one deal since Trump announced it nearly nine weeks ago.

Trump's flagging of an imminent breakthrough comes ahead of new tariffs planned to take effect Sunday and also just as he is nearly sure to become only the third USA president to be impeached.

China and the United States are in close communication on trade, officials in Beijing and Washington said, days before tit-for-tat tariffs are due to go into effect.

China's commerce ministry said Thursday that the two sides were in "close" contact ahead of Sunday's deadline.

In August, China said it would impose 5 percent and 10 percent in additional tariffs on $75bn of U.S. goods in two batches.

The US is due to impose tariffs on nearly $160bn of Chinese imports such as video game consoles, computer monitors and toys on Sunday.

Beijing has threatened to retaliate if the USA tariff hike goes ahead but Gao didn't respond to a question about what China might do.

Beijing has said it would retaliate if the USA escalates the trade dispute.

If the USA and China don't reach some sort of agreement by midnight this coming Sunday, the USA could slap tariffs on another US$156 billion worth of goods that America imports from China, mostly consumer products, including laptops, mobile phones, toys, and clothing. Many analysts had expected a deal ahead of December 15.

The intense talks, involving multiple trips by teams from both sides to and from Washington and Beijing, were further complicated by tensions over the pro-democracy uprising in Hong Kong.



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