Market News & Headlines >> Trade Talks on Despite Trump Tariff Announcement

China on Monday said a delegation was still preparing to travel to Washington D.C. for trade talks, even as President Trump dramatically increased pressure on Beijing to reach a deal, announcing he would hike tariffs on Chinese goods this Friday. 

"We are also in the process of understanding the relevant situation. What I can tell you is that China's team is preparing to go to the United States for the discussions," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told a news briefing. But Geng did not say if Vice Premier Liu He, who is China's lead official in the negotiations, will be part of the delegation as originally planned. Negotiations are set to start May 8 in Washington. 

U.S. officials did not weigh in on whether they expected talks to go ahead this week. The White House and the U.S. Trade Representative's Office declined to comment to Reuters News Service. China's commerce ministry also did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The Wall Street Journal reported earlier that China was considering cancelling this week's meetings in Washington in light of Trump's comments, which took Chinese officials by surprise. 

President Trump on Sunday said tariffs on $200 billion of goods would increase on Friday to 25% from 10%, reversing a decision he made in February to keep them at 10% due to progress between the two sides. The president also said he would target a further $325 billion of Chinese goods with 25% tariffs "shortly," essentially covering all products imported by the U.S. from China.