"The Wall Street Journal has it wrong, we are under no pressure to make a deal with China, they are under pressure to make a deal with us".
The possible resumption of negotiations sent Asian markets rallying with Hong Kong surging 2.5 per cent - having fallen for six straight days and into a bear market - and Shanghai more than one per cent higher. Washington has also ended a public comment period for another $200 billion of tariffs worth of goods from China and before that's imposed, Trump said he's "ready to go" with levies on an additional $267 billion worth of Chinese products. "If we meet, we meet?" he wrote.
Some businesses are concerned about rising costs of imported materials; others, particularly farmers, about retaliatory tariffs imposed by China and Europe on US exports.
Mr Kudlow earlier told reporters outside the White House that communications with Beijing had "picked up a notch". So, as Trump's tariff hikes on Chinese imports keep ramping up, China is naturally running out of room to retaliate. "In fact, from last month's preliminary talks in Washington, the two sides' trade talk teams have maintained various forms of contact, and held discussions on the concerns of each side", he said.
China welcomed on Thursday a USA offer to hold fresh trade talks, adding that the two are discussing the details and providing some hope the world's top economies could step back from the brink of an all-out trade war.
But Larry Kudlow, head of the White House Economic Council, said Wednesday on the Fox Business Network that Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin had invited senior Chinese officials to rekindle the talks.
But Kudlow was non-committal over the chances of a breakthrough, adding: "I guarantee nothing".
In recent meetings with cabinet-level Chinese officials, USCBC representatives were told that licensing won't resume "until the trajectory of the U.S".
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The majority of American companies in China say they are hurting from the escalating trade spat, reporting increased costs, lower profits and stepped-up scrutiny, according to an American Chamber of Commerce in China survey released Thursday.
The Trump administration is poised to hit China, America's largest trading partner, with another $200 billion in tariffs.
China has threatened retaliation, which could include action against USA companies operating there.
Later on Thursday, China's foreign ministry welcomed the offer of talks and said the two countries were discussing details.
Some 63.6 percent of more than 430 companies that responded to the American chambers' survey said profits and customer demand have fallen due to the USA tariffs and 62.5 percent said the same about retaliatory Chinese tariffs.
Eric Zheng, chairman of AmCham Shanghai, said he supported the administration's goal to push Beijing into overhauling trade practices Trump considers unfair.
"Tariffs are already negatively impacting U.S. companies and the imposition of a proposed $200 billion tranche will bring a lot more pain", Eric Zheng, chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai, said Thursday in a statement.
US business groups are escalating their fight against Trump's tariffs, with over 60 industry groups launching a coalition to put political pressure on the Trump administration to seek alternatives to tariffs.