• The US is set to increase tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods at midnight.
  • The Trump administration has said that the increase is because China reneged on previously agreed upon elements of a still-unfinished trade deal between the two countries.
  • Chinese Vice Premier Liu He is in Washington, DC, for negotiations.
  • Back in China, a spokesperson for the Chinese Ministry of Commerce denied that the country had backtracked on any agreements.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Just hours before President Donald Trump’s deadline for raising tariffson the country’s goods, a spokesperson for the Chinese Ministry of Commerce denied the US claims that negotiators from Beijing reneged on previously made agreements during trade talks.

“The U.S. side has given many labels recently, ‘backtracking’, ‘betraying’ etc…China sets great store on trustworthiness and keeps its promises, and this has never changed,” Gao Feng, a Commerce Ministry spokesperson, said at a press conference Thursday, according to Reuters.

Trump, US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, and US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin all said that the Chinese had walked back some of the key original promises during the latest round of negotiations. The two sides are seeking a deal to end a yearlong trade war and lower tariffs on roughly $360 billion worth of goods flowing between the US and China.

The deleted text reportedly dealt with intellectual-property theft, trade secrets, forced technology transfers, competition policy, access to financial services, and currency manipulation, Reuters reported.

Read more:Trump’s top trade negotiator confirms the China tariffs will increase on Friday, accuses Beijing of walking back on trade deal

Feng told reporters that the Chinese officials in Washington, led by Vice Premier Liu He, are still seeking to strike a deal before the US is set to raise tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods at midnight.

“We hope the US can meet China halfway, take care of each others’ concerns, and resolve existing problems through cooperation and consultations,” Feng said.

At 12:01 am ET, the US will increase the 10% tariff rate on the $200 billion tranche of goods to 25%, a drastic escalation of the trade war. China has already promised to respond with measures of their own.

During a press conference at the White House on Thursday, Trump was uncertain about whether the world’s two largest economies would be able to strike a deal before the deadline.

“I have no idea what’s going to happen,” the president said.

Here’s a timeline of the US-China trade war so far:

Read More

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