American officials due in Beijing for talks on trade battle

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American envoys are due in Beijing for talks Monday in a tariff battle over Chinese technology ambitions.

Deputy U.S. Trade Representative Jeffrey Gerrish will lead a working-level team to China next week for the first round of face-to-face trade talks. USA president Donald Trump has threatened a sharp hike in U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods if China didn't yield to his requests.

A new strain in the US-China relationship emerged in December when Canada announced it had carried out a US request to arrest the chief financial officer of Huawei, one of China's top tech companies.

"The negotiations next week are important because they will establish expectations, but we shouldn't expect major breakthroughs", said Mr Myron Brilliant, vice-president of global affairs at the US Chamber of Commerce. In the meantime we are doing well in various Trade Negotiations now going on.

Trump initiated the trade war because of complaints over unfair Chinese trade practices - concerns shared by the European Union, Japan and others.

Data this week pointed to signs of strain in the U.S. and China at the end of past year.

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"I think we will make a deal with China", Trump told reporters at the White House after a meeting with Democratic and Republican lawmakers about the USA government shutdown.

The new declaration was made by China after President Trump tweeted about "big progress" being made during telecom with President Xi Jinping of China during the weekend.

The makeup of the US team was announced Friday by the trade representative's office.

The decision to hold this week's talks at a deputy minister level reflects the need to work out technical details before higher-level officials make "hard political decisions on major issues", said Tu Xinquan, director of the China Institute for World Trade Organization Studies at the University of International Business and Economics in Beijing.

Chinese officials are unhappy with USA curbs on exports of "dual use" technology with possible military applications.

Some manufacturers that serve the United States have shifted production to other countries. While USA imposed tariffs worth $250 billion on China since July this year, China has imposed tariffs worth $110 billion on goods imported from USA.

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