Liu He had previously planned to bring a large delegation to Washington on Wednesday to hash out a trade deal; however, two sources briefed on the talks told CNBC that the Chinese side may back out of this week’s negotiations.
That was pegged to Trump’s new threats, they said, which abandon a six-month truce after Beijing waffled on some previously discussed commitments. Chinese officials cancelled a trip in late September 2018 in similar circumstances.
Trump said in a Sunday afternoon Twitter post that the current 10% tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods will rise to 25% on Friday. He also threatened to impose 25% levies on an additional $325 billion of Chinese goods “shortly.”
Editor-in-chief of China's Global Times newspaper Hu Xijin also suggested that Liu He is "very unlikely" to go to the United States this week following US President Donald Trump's "threat" to hike tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods.
"Let Trump raise tariffs. Let's see when trade talks can resume," Hu Xijin said in a tweet.
Earlier, suggestions of a possible deal came from Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney. Asked Tuesday about Mnuchin’s prior claim that the White House could announce an agreement with Beijing in the next two weeks, Mulvaney said, “I think that’s fair.”