Members of U.S. and Chinese administrations took up the subject of trade Tuesday morning, setting up a road map on how to move on to the next stage.
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The phone call was held between Chinese Vice Premier Liu He and U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer.
This month in Argentina, President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed to a truce that delayed the planned Jan. 1 U.S. increase of tariffs to 25 percent from 10 percent on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods.
Lighthizer said on Sunday that unless U.S.-China trade talks wrap up successfully by March 1, new tariffs will be imposed, clarifying there is a "hard deadline" after a week of seeming confusion among Trump and his advisers.
A U.S. Treasury spokesman confirmed that the call with Liu took place, but offered no further details. The U.S. Trade Representative's office did not immediately respond to a query about the call, according to Reuters.
Global markets have been nervous about a growing clash between the world's two largest economic powers over China's huge trade surplus with the United States and Washington's claims that Beijing is stealing intellectual property and technology.
The arrest of a top executive at China's Huawei Technologies has also roiled global markets amid fears that it could further inflame the China-U.S. trade row.