US and China plan high-level trade talks amid fears tariff war could wipe $1 trillion off economy

  • US and Chinese officials are reportedly set to meet for high-level trade talks with hopes of securing a deal at the end of April.
  • Tensions were raised after the US Chamber of Commerce indicated that should tariffs increase, $US1 trillion could be wiped off the economy in the next decade.
  • US futures are trading up ahead of the Federal Reserve’s policy decision Wednesday after a mixed day of trading in Asia.

Hopes for a US-China trade-war deal have been boosted by confirmation that high-level talks will continue despite recent difficulties.

The dispute has been shaky in recent months after President Donald Trump’s abrupt decision to reengage North Korea on denuclearization talks and after China appeared to push back against key US trade demands.

US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin are set to visit Beijing next week to meet with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He with the aim of securing a deal by the end of April, according to The Wall Street Journal.

“The deadly duo of Lighthizer and Mnuchin are heading to China next week, with the aim of sealing a deal by the end of the month,” said Neil Wilson, the chief market analyst at “But there is still a large chasm between the two sides.”

Key sticking points in the negotiations include the speed at which tariffs would be lifted in the event of a deal, the ability of US companies to operate freely in China, intellectual-property rights, and restrictions on cross-border data flow.

Market tensions are high after a report from Rhodium Group and the US Chamber of Commerce on Friday indicated the US economy would take a $US1 trillion hit if tariffs were to increase. The economic researchers found that increased tariffs would batter US gross domestic product and hurt import and export costs, raising prices for US consumers as American goods become less competitive.

“In the five years after tariffs are implemented, average annual US GDP would fall $US64 billion to $US91 billion,” the report said. It also noted that higher import tariffs “disproportionately hit US manufacturers who rely on lower-cost inputs shipped from China.”

US futures were trading up ahead of the Federal Reserve’s policy decision Wednesday after a mixed day of trading in Asia, with US and Chinese stocks closing down or barely up amid continued uncertainty.

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