The U.S. and China are working to re-establish talks in order to avoid a full-fledged trade war between the world's two leading economies, according to anonymous sources cited by Bloomberg on Tuesday.
According to the sources, private conversations are being held between representatives of U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He to restart negotiations.
However, it was still too early for the sources to say anything with certainty as they said neither the format nor the topics of the talks were decided yet. Representatives from both sides agreed that additional talks were needed.
Previous attempts to de-escalate the trade war failed as both sides rejected to step back and intensified the issue by announcing counter tariffs at every opportunity. According to a third source cited by Bloomberg, high-level U.S. talks on the trade issue with China will take place this week.
Mnuchin's work got a lot harder when U.S. Trade Representative Rober Lighthizer decided to take a stricter approach. Lighthizer has jurisdiction over the U.S.' section 301 investigations which ignited tariff wars as the case concluded that China was stealing American technologies and tariffs were necessary to offset the damage.
Around $16 billion worth of Chinese imports could be imposed with duties as the next wave of U.S. tariffs are expected to hit soon. Beijing promised to respond with the same amount of tariffs as a counter measure.