US Accuses China of ‘Reneging’ on Trade Promises



James Politi and Tom Mitchell | Financial Times

Senior US officials accused China of backtracking on its pledges in talks to end the trade war between the world’s largest economies and said a new round of tariffs on Chinese exports would take effect on Friday morning.

Despite the stinging criticism directed at President Xi Jinping’s trade negotiators, China’s commerce ministry said on Tuesday that vice-premier Liu He would arrive in Washington on Thursday for an abbreviated round of talks. Mr Liu had previously been scheduled to lead a large delegation for at least three days of discussions aimed at concluding a draft agreement.

In a briefing on Monday, Robert Lighthizer, the US trade representative, and Steven Mnuchin, the US Treasury secretary, said the Trump administration was prepared to move ahead with higher tariffs on $200bn of Chinese imports as they accused Mr Liu’s team of failing to honour commitments made in previous negotiating rounds. 

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