The newspaper Business Standard has cited National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow as saying that the US administration is allying with the world's major economies in a bid to contain what Washington sees as Beijing's unfair trade practices.
"We're moving to what I characterize as a trade coalition of the willing to confront China. We are talking to the European Union again. We are talking to Japan again," Kudlow pointed out.
He said that although bilateral channels of communication were still open, there are no plans for more shuttle diplomacy between the US and China.
"There's some thinking about maybe Presidents Xi and Trump might get together at the G20 in Buenos Aires [in late November] but that's not a lock. I'm just saying there's some thinking about that," Kudlow added.
His remarks came after Washington, Tokyo and Brussels announced last month that they were jointly considering "possible measures" against what they described as unfair industrial practices by Beijing, including alleged overcapacity, cyber-theft and forced technology transfers.
In a sign of deteriorating bilateral ties, China has rejected allegations by US Vice President Mike Pence that Beijing had meddled in US domestic policies and elections. Pence also claimed that Beijing was trying to influence business leaders to make them condemn US President Donald Trump's trade tariffs.
The developments came against the background of the current trade spat between China and the US, which further escalated after Trump's fresh sanctions on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods and services took effect on September 24.
China has retaliated with its own tariffs against US goods, while continuing to maintain, however, that there can be no winners in a trade war. In 2017, the US recorded a $375.2 billion trade deficit with China, with total trade estimated to be worth some $710.4 billion at the time.