China scraps trade talks with US after latest round of Trump tariffs

China scraps trade talks with US after latest round of Trump tariffs

Chinese officials announced early Saturday that the country was canceling planned trade talks with the U.S. amid an escalation in trade tensions between the two countries.

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Officials told The Wall Street Journal that Beijing was unwilling to engage in what it perceived as pressure tactics. According to officials, the move signified that China was following through on its promise to avoid negotiations under pressure. 

“Nothing the U.S. has done has given any impression of sincerity and goodwill,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said at a news briefing Friday, according to the Journal. “We hope that the U.S. side will take measures to correct its mistakes.”

Sources close to the matter told the Journal that Beijing was open to initiating talks with Washington next month, though Bloomberg reported that the two are unlikely to sit down until after the U.S.'s midterm elections in November. 

The move from Beijing comes just days before the latest round of tariffs are set to take effect.

President Trump on Monday announced its latest round of tariffs targeting $200 billion worth of Chinese goods. The announcement sent stocks tumbling and prompted China to retaliate with tariffs on $60 billion in U.S. imports.

"It will be a lot of money coming into the coffers of the United States of America," Trump told reporters at the White House on Monday. "A lot of money coming in," he said.

Trump has insisted that tariffs can be used as leverage to secure improved trade deals for the United States, despite bipartisan lawmakers warning of the potential consequences for consumers and the overall economy.

But trade experts say that tariffs amount to very little in revenue and that the costs of the tariffs ultimately will be passed on to U.S. consumers. 

Business groups and many Democrats and Republicans have expressed strong opposition to another round of tariffs, which they say will not compel the Chinese government to change what they call unfair trade practices and provide more market access to U.S. products.

— Updated 6:25 a.m.