China’s top trade official has invited U.S. negotiators to take part in a fresh round of face-to-face talks, The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday, citing people familiar with the matter.
During a phone call thought to have been made late last week, Chinese Vice Premier Liu He reportedly invited U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to Beijing to sit down for further negotiations.
It was not clear whether U.S. negotiators had accepted Liu’s invitation. However, the Journal said U.S. trade officials were willing to meet with their Chinese counterparts.
The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative was not immediately available for comment when contacted by CNBC on Thursday morning.
The report comes shortly after U.S. legislation on Hong Kong had threatened to derail trade discussions between the world’s two largest economies. On Wednesday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed two bills intended to support protesters in Hong Kong. It prompted Beijing to accuse the U.S. of interfering in domestic affairs.
Separately, trade experts and people close to the Trump administration suggested that the completion of a limited trade agreement could be pushed into 2020, according to Reuters.
The U.S. and China have imposed tariffs on billions of dollars’ worth of one another’s goods since early 2018, battering financial markets and souring business and consumer sentiment.
Read more on the WSJ website here.