China and the United States have been engaged in a trade war since US President Donald Trump announced in June that $50 billion worth of Chinese goods would be subject to 25 percent tariffs in a bid to fix the US-Chinese trade deficit. Since then, the two countries have exchanged several rounds of trade tariffs.
On Tuesday, the South China Morning Post newspaper reported that Chinese Vice Premier Liu was expected to meet with US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer in late January to reach an agreement on ending the so-called trade war between the world's two largest economies.
Donald Trump said Monday that the United States would reach a trade deal with China. "I think that we are going to be able to do a deal with China", Trump told reporters at the White House.
"They have a hard time with their economy because of tariffs",Trump said.
The idea of lifting some or all tariffs was reportedly proposed by Steven Mnuchin in a series of strategy meetings. The goal of the move is to advance trade negotiations with China and win the Beijing government’s agreement for longer-term reforms, the Wall Street Journal said. On Monday, Asia-Pacific markets slumped amid reports of a decline in Chinese exports.
The United States has repeatedly accused China of unfair trade practices, in particular, theft of US companies' intellectual property and technology.