China and the USA reached a modest breakthrough in their standoff over trade, saying they will hold lower-level talks later this month on the spiraling dispute.
China and the United States have announced formal trade negotiations for the first time since their fierce dispute led to tariffs on products worth tens of billions of dollars.
China and the United States have implemented several rounds of tit-for-tat tariffs on each others goods since the start of the year and have threatened further tariffs on exports worth hundreds of billions of dollars.
The meeting would end what had been a lull in talks between the two sides, but it is unclear whether it will take place before or after August 23, when Washington is due to activate additional tariffs on $16 billion of Chinese goods.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate and international-benchmark Brent crude oil futures are trading slightly lower on Thursday.
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A meeting between the two countries, which would be between lower-level officials than earlier talks, would mark a breach in the standoff that has arisen since talks broke down in the spring.
The announcement by the Chinese commerce ministry of the planned meeting in late August comes after a lull in talks between the two sides. The invitation for talks may have been meant to steady markets, they said. Separately, China has said it is prepared to put additional tariffs on 5,207 goods imported from the United States with a total value of $60 billion, ranging from liquefied natural gas to some aircraft.
Amid a stalemate in the trade war with the US, China will send a top official to Washington this month to resume the high-level dialogue to resolve the deadlock over President Donald Trump's demand to drastically reduce the $375 billion trade deficit.
"It is possible that China may stress to the USA that China will continue reform", he said.
"This will be 'talks about trade talks, '" said Gai Xinzhe, an analyst at the Bank of China's Institute of International Finance in Beijing.