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Trade war

Chinese delegation to visit US farms as trade talks resume

Deputy negotiators to lay groundwork for high-level meeting next month

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue looks at corn at a family farm. He said a Chinese delegation will visit farmlands in the U.S.   © Reuters

WASHINGTON -- U.S. and Chinese deputy trade negotiators resumed talks for the first time in nearly two months Thursday, aiming to narrow differences over such issues as agricultural imports and intellectual property.

China's delegation, led by Vice Finance Minister Liao Min, met with counterparts at the U.S. Trade Representative's office near the White House. Deputy U.S. Trade Representative Jeffrey Gerrish led the American contingent. The negotiations, slated to last through Friday, aim to lay the groundwork for cabinet-level talks in October.

Forced technology transfers and the yuan's slide against the dollar are also on the agenda.

"What we need is to correct the big imbalances, not just the current trade deficit," U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said in a Fox Business Network interview Thursday.

"It's more complicated than just buying a few more soybeans," Ross said.

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue told reporters Thursday that a Chinese delegation will visit American farms next week.

"I think they want to build goodwill," Perdue said of China, which may be signaling a willingness to buy more American agricultural products with an eye toward drawing concessions from Washington.

The U.S. has postponed additional tariffs on Chinese goods by two weeks from the originally planned Oct. 1. And China has exempted American soybeans and pork from retaliatory tariffs. While both sides have shown signs of compromise, tensions may escalate once again if progress is not made in early October's talks.

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