© Reuters. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin testifies before the House Financial Services Committee hearing

By David Lawder

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is scheduled to meet with People’s Bank of China Governor Yi Gang this weekend at a gathering of G20 finance leaders in Japan, marking the first face-to-face discussion between key U.S. and Chinese trade negotiators in nearly a month.

A Treasury spokesman confirmed the meeting along with nine other bilaterals for Mnuchin on the sidelines of the Group of 20 gathering in Fukuoka.

Talks aimed at ending a festering trade war between the world’s two largest economies broke down in early May, and no face-to-face meetings have been held since May 10, the day that U.S. President Donald Trump sharply increased tariffs on a $200 billion list of Chinese goods to 25%.

Since then, acrimonious rhetoric and trade threats between Beijing and Washington have steadily increased, especially after the United States imposed severe sanctions against Huawei Technologies Co, China’s premier telecommunications equipment firm.

The Treasury did not offer any other details about the meeting with Yi, who has been a fixture on the Chinese negotiating team led by Vice Premier Liu He. Mnuchin has previously met with Yi on the sidelines of G20 finance meetings to discuss global finance and economic issues.

Mnuchin also will hold bilateral meetings with Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso, European Central Bank President Mario Draghi, German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire, Italian Finance Minister Giovanni Tria, South Korean Deputy Prime Minister Hong Nam-Ki, Australian Treasurer Josh Frydenberg, Canadian Finance Minister Bill Morneau, and Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development Secretary General Angel Gurria, the Treasury said.

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2019-06-04