Signs with the US flag and Chinese flag are seen at the Qingdao free trade port area in Qingdao in China's eastern Shandong province on May 8, 2019. File photo: AFP/STRINGER
Signs with the US flag and Chinese flag are seen at the Qingdao free trade port area in Qingdao in China's eastern Shandong province on May 8, 2019. File photo: AFP/STRINGER

Washington — The US has received an indication from China that Beijing wants to make a trade deal, White House spokesperson Sarah Sanders said on Wednesday, after Washington announced it would raise tariffs on $200bn worth of Chinese imports.

Trade delegations from Washington and Beijing are scheduled to begin their latest round of talks on Thursday.

"We got an indication they want to make a deal," Sanders told reporters. "Our teams are in continued negotiations. They're going to sit down tomorrow. We'll see what happens from there."

A Reuters report earlier quoted US government and private-sector sources as saying China had backtracked on almost all aspects of a draft trade agreement with the US.

The US will raise tariffs on $200bn worth of Chinese imports to 25% from 10% effective from Friday, according to a notice posted to the Federal Register on Wednesday.

US President Donald Trump said in a tweet on Wednesday that he would be "very happy with over $100bn a year in tariffs filling US coffers".

Reuters