Washington — Some White House officials are trying to restart talks with China to avoid a trade war before US tariffs on Chinese products take effect July 6, three people familiar with the plans said, setting up a battle with others in the administration who favour a harder line. Staff of the National Economic Council have contacted former US government officials and China experts in recent days to gauge chances for high-level talks in the next two weeks, the people said, on condition of anonymity. One idea that NEC staff had floated was inviting Chinese Vice-President Wang Qishan before the tariff deadline, they said. The outreach signals a willingness by some US officials to seek a truce before $34bn in Chinese products are hit with tariffs, rather than trigger a trade war between the world’s two largest economies. Still, the chances of such negotiations happening in the near term are slim as long as opponents inside the administration favour penalising Beijing. President Donald T...

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