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Mnuchin, Lighthizer, talk to Liu He

Chinese Deputy Prime Minister Liu He (L) shakes hands with US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer (R) along with US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin (C) as Liu chairs the United States Trade Representative's Office for Trade Negotiations in Washington, DC , leaves. May 10, 2019.

Saul Loeb | AFP | Getty Images

Senior US officials talked with their Chinese counterparts on Tuesday when Washington and Beijing worked to iron out a trade agreement.

United States. Sales Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin spoke with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He and Commerce Minister Zhong Shan to continue negotiations to settle outstanding trade disputes between the two largest economies in the world, according to a US official. The official said, "Both sides will continue these talks as needed."

The call continues a new round of engagement between the US and China to avoid widening a harmful trade war. At the end of last month, President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping met at the G20 summit in Japan and agreed not to impose new tariffs.

Trump has urged that Beijing buy more American goods and fight the theft of intellectual property. They want to remove tariffs that respectfully account for $ 250 billion and $ 1

10 billion in Chinese and American products as the danger of conflict for the global economy increases. Trump had previously proposed to keep the obligations until China has concluded a possible agreement.

The talks collapsed in May when the Trump administration said they had come to an agreement with Beijing. The White House accused China of withdrawing from important obligations. Both sides then raised prices for existing duties.

Larry Kudlow, White House economics consultant, said Tuesday it was "very, very important" for Beijing to buy farm produce while the talks are in progress. [19659002] At a CNBC Capital Exchange event, Kudlow said he would give the talks "no time frame" and emphasized "quality rather than speed".

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