United States and China agreed to carry out a further set of trade negotiations at the end of January, with senior officials from both sides deciding to participate in the talks, which will be held in Washington, DC, The Wall Street Journal reported Friday.
A Chinese delegation sent from Beijing should be led by Vice Premier Liu He, China's top trade official, who is also one of President Xi Jinping's closest allies. The US delegation should be led by commercial representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.
According to The Journal, the talks should take place from 30 to 31 January, but could be derailed by the partial closure of the US government on funding for the wall proposed by President Donald Trump on the southern border of the United States.
The arrest has now exceeded 20 days and, if a compromise is not reached on Friday, Saturday will become the longest in US history.
Read more: The closure of the government threatens the United States with a reduction in creditworthiness only for the second time in history
News of new talks arrive only two days after the end talks between the youngest officials of the two sides in Beijing at the beginning of the week. A US delegation led by Jeffrey Gerrish, the commercial deputy representative, visited the Chinese capital earlier this week, giving speeches that were productive but did not produce any major breakthroughs.
A US statement released after the talks said that delegates discussed "ways to achieve equity, reciprocity and balance in trade" between the two nations and agreed that any trade agreement necessary to provide "full implementation subject to continuous audits and effective reinforcement."
This week's talks and the talks scheduled for the end of January are part of a dialogue between the United States and China following a provisional agreement at the November G20 summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
That agreement saw China commit to renewing purchases of US agricultural goods such as soybeans, in exchange for the delay of a new set of customs duties that Washington would have had to impose on Chinese assets.
However, many critical points remain, including Washington's desire for better protection of US intellectual property in China and the further opening of Chinese markets to foreign companies.