October 10, 2019 / 3:51 PM / 2 months ago

U.S. Chamber sees possible U.S.-China currency agreement, tariff hike delay

FILE PHOTO: A U.S. dollar banknote featuring American founding father Benjamin Franklin and a China's yuan banknote featuring late Chinese chairman Mao Zedong are seen among U.S. and Chinese flags in this illustration picture taken May 20, 2019. REUTERS/Jason Lee/File Photo

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Top U.S. and Chinese negotiators are working towards an “early harvest” of confidence-building agreements that could forestall further U.S. tariffs, including an agreement to avoid currency manipulation, a senior U.S. Chamber of Commerce official said on Thursday.

Myron Brilliant, the Chamber’s head of international affairs, said he met with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He on Wednesday ahead of two days of talks with U.S. trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

The three officials are “trying to find a path towards the bigger deal by making progress in market access, making progress on intellectual property protection in some other critical areas,” Brilliant told reporters on a conference call. “I believe that there’s even the possibility of a currency agreement this week. I think that could lead to a decision by the U.S. administration to not put forth a tariff rate hike on Oct. 15.”

Reporting by David Lawder; Editing by Hugh Lawson

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