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As Trade Talks Resume, U.S. To Slap China With New Round Of Tariffs

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

China and the United States are resuming trade talks this week in Washington. This is even as a fresh round of tariffs on each other's goods is set to take effect tomorrow. We're going to have the latest now from NPR's Rob Schmitz in Shanghai.

ROB SCHMITZ, BYLINE: The U.S. is set to impose tariffs on $16 billion dollars' worth of Chinese products ranging from motorcycles to railway cars while the Chinese will respond with tariffs on an equal amount of U.S. goods. That will include coal, medical instruments and cars. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang told reporters yesterday China was upbeat about today's talks in Washington, but he didn't make any promises.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

LU KANG: (Through interpreter) We certainly hope the talks could lead to good outcomes, but one thing you should know is that we prefer no unnecessary prejudgments and predictions.

SCHMITZ: President Trump was also reluctant to express much optimism at a campaign rally in West Virginia yesterday.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: I have people coming to me, some people in Congress - sir, can you get this deal done immediately? I said, it doesn't work that way. I don't want to go too fast. The deal's not going to be any good if we do that.

SCHMITZ: The U.S. is holding hearings this week about additional tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports that could go into effect as early as September 6. China has vowed to retaliate with tariffs on $60 billion worth of U.S. goods. An escalating trade war will cast a new light on events this autumn, where President Trump and Chinese leader Xi Jinping may have a chance to negotiate a deal such as an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in November, as well as a G-20 meeting in Argentina. Later that month. Rob Schmitz, NPR News, Shanghai. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.