China says meeting with United States on trade in January

A USA trade team will head to Beijing in the second week of 2019 to hold talks with Chinese officials. Deputy U.S. Trade Representative Jeffery Gerrish will lead the Trump Administration's team to China for the talks.

Chinese Ministry of Commerce spokesman Gao Feng confirmed that the two sides planned to sit down for talks next month, although he didn't provide a date for the meeting during his regular briefing in Beijing on Thursday.

The notice attributed the change to new US-Chinese engagement "with the goal of obtaining the elimination of the acts, policies, and practices covered in the investigation" following a December 1 meeting between President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping in Buenos Aires. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said last week the US team and its counterparts have held discussions over the phone.

It is the latest advancement to the on-going trade tensions between the two biggest economies in the world.

On Sunday, Beijing's commerce ministry said China and the USA "made new progress" on the issues of trade balance and intellectual property during a phone call between officials from the two countries.

A worker places U.S. and China flags near the Forbidden City ahead of a visit by U.S. President Donald Trump to Beijing, in Beijing, China November 8, 2017. The two leaders also settled to continue their negotiations while the United States rescheduled it planned tariff increase which was supposed to be implemented on January 1.

"The Chinese and United States economic and trade teams have always maintained close communication", said commerce ministry spokesman Gao Feng at a regular briefing.

On Sunday, a meeting of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC, China's legislature) saw a draft law that would allow IP theft victims to claim "punitive damages".

The two countries have been in close communication even during the holiday period, he said.

Gao did not give his response to the rumored scheduled visit of a US trade delegation on January 7 to China.

In response, China has resumed purchases of U.S. soyabeans for the first time in six months, even though hefty tariffs on United States cargoes remain in place.

Trump said his agreement with Xi would go down "as one of the largest deals ever made".