United States makes trade talks move as pressure mounts ahead of midterms

President Donald Trump holds an Oval Office meeting at the White House on Sept. 11 2018. LEAH MILLIS  Reuters

President Donald Trump holds an Oval Office meeting at the White House on Sept. 11 2018. LEAH MILLIS Reuters

But given the high stakes for both sides, with Trump pushing for concessions from China but Beijing unlikely to give ground on key policy requests, the trade conflict could continue to escalate into what scholars have already begun to term a new cold war.

China only buys $129 billion worth of goods from the United States of America so they can't do a tit-for-tat tariff slug on $US200 million worth of goods, so how they retaliate remains an uncertainty for stock players.

Watch Alibaba, iQiyi, JD.com, Baidu.com, Pinduoduo, Nio trade in real-time here.

Trump met with his top trade advisers on Thursday to discuss the China tariffs, including Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, the people said.

US stocks ended little changed on Friday as financials.SPSY gained with bond yields, while news that President Donald Trump instructed aides to proceed with tariffs on about $200 billion more of Chinese products limited gains.

China welcomed on Thursday a U.S. offer to hold fresh trade talks, adding that the two are discussing the details and providing some hope the world's top economies could step back from the brink of an all-out trade war.

"The Treasury Department is in communication with China".

The White House is pushing tariffs as a powerful negotiating tool for winning what it says are better trade deals for all Americans.

"We share the concerns of the U.S. regarding China's trade and investment practices, but continuing along the path of tariff escalation is extremely unsafe", warned Harborn.

More companies say they will suffer if Trump goes ahead with his planned tariff hike and Beijing retaliates, according to the American Chambers of Commerce in China and in Shanghai.

A series of companies want President Trump to know that tariffs are hurting US industries.

The Trump administration is preparing to activate tariffs on US$200 billion worth of Chinese goods, hitting a broad array of internet technology products and consumer goods from handbags to bicycles to furniture.

News of the invite comes as it emerged Thursday that USA firms in China are beginning to feel the pinch of tariffs already imposed on the Asian giant.

July 10: The US releases an initial list of an additional $US200 billion worth of Chinese goods that could be subject to 10% tariffs.

According to many recent reports, Taiwanese companies are already beginning to shy away from the Chinese market because of the likelihood that their products manufactured in China will be targeted by the Trump administration.

"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.

Top two ranks in the us -imposed tariff list include machinery (82.6 percent) and electronics (81.3 percent), while the corresponding positions in the China-imposed tariff list include agribusiness (88.9 percent) and chemicals (80.8 percent).

But Beijing has come up with a non-tariff move to deal with the escalating trade battle, and it's making many American businesses' worst fear come true.

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