Shoppers are seen Monday at a Walmart in Beijing, China. Weeks after stalled trade talks, U.S. officials said Thursday they will resume discussions by phone. Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI | License Photo
July 18 (UPI) -- The United States and China will hold trade talks by phone Thursday, and in-person negotiations could also resume in the near future, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Thursday.
The two nations, now in the second year of a major trade conflict, agreed to a truce last month at the G20 summit but have not resumed discussions that ended in stalemate weeks ago.
Mnuchin told CNBC Thursday U.S. negotiators are ready to make another push.
"[U.S. Trade Representative Robert] Lightizer and I have a call scheduled for later today with our counterparts," he said. "This will be the second conversation we've had. We're working under the direction of President Trump and President Xi [Jinping] from the [G20 summit in] Osaka and we'll see where we get."
Chinese government figures this week showed Beijing's slowest economic growth since 1992.
U.S. and world markets have fluctuated in recent weeks as the two sides seek an end to the feud. There's also market concern about mixed corporate earnings and tensions with Iran.
"We have a long way to go as far as tariffs where China is concerned," Trump said Tuesday.
Another factor in the conflict is the U.S. ban on Chinese telecom giant Huawei, a restriction Beijing wants reduced as part of any trade deal.
Rabobank economist Stefan Koopman said one sticking point in trade talks is that neither side is keeping its promises.
"The conflict will drag on and the current package of tariffs will remain in place," he told Markets Insider. "The strategy of the Trump administration is to slowly squeeze the life out of the Chinese economy, not to push it into recession."