The White House is under enormous pressure from United States companies to resolve its differences with China swiftly before either country imposes more tariffs or restrictions that these firms argue could hurt growth and lead to lost American jobs. If we meet, we meet?
One of the highest-profile casualties of the trade war was United States chipmaker Qualcomm's (QCOM) $44 billion acquisition of Dutch rival NXP Semiconductors (NXPI), which China killed in July by refusing to grant it regulatory approval.
Some businesses are concerned about rising costs of imported materials; others, particularly farmers, about retaliatory tariffs imposed by China and Europe on US exports.
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".
"The White House has threatened to fire the next barrage of tariffs at $200 billion more Chinese goods, expecting with this onslaught, or subsequent ones, China will wave a white flag", he said.
As the Trump administration readies major trade actions this month, including a potential $200 billion in new tariffs on imported Chinese goods, America's biggest trade associations - representing a wide swath of industries - have formed what they say will be a sweeping campaign against tariffs.
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On Wednesday, Larry Kudlow, who heads the White House Economic Council, told Fox Business Network that Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin had sent an invitation to senior Chinese officials to restart trade talks.
Negotiations to deescalate trade tensions between the U.S. and China have produced little concrete progress, and the details of future talks remain unclear, though the two sides have expressed a desire to open up a dialogue.
April 4: China rolls out a list of more than 100 usa goods worth roughly $US50 billion that are subject to retaliatory tariffs.
It said the timing for activating the additional tariffs was still unclear.
"The question is whether anything has changed, " said Jeff Moon, a former U.S. trade negotiator in the Obama administration. "Every day, companies large and small are sharing their stories of the harm the tariffs and ensuing retaliation are causing across all sectors of the American economy".
Chinese tech stocks are getting sliding after President Donald Trump reportedly OK'd hitting China with the next round of tariffs despite the two sides attempts to extend trade talks.
The White House and office of the US Trade Representative did not respond to requests for comment.
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