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Key House Republican urges Trump, Xi to meet and ‘craft a solution’ to escalating trade war

Key House Republican urges Trump, Xi to meet and ‘craft a solution’ to escalating trade war

WASHINGTON (CNN) – The top Republican on the powerful House Ways and Means Committee urged President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping to meet and hash out an agreement to an “escalating trade dispute” as the US prepares for a new round of tariffs against China.

“I strongly urge President Trump and President Xi to meet soon face-to-face to craft a solution to establish fair and lasting trade between our two countries,” Texas Republican Kevin Brady said in a statement Tuesday.

The Trump administration is preparing a new round of tariffs on Chinese goods worth $200 billion, escalating the tension between the two countries. On Tuesday, US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer released a list of thousands of additional goods that could face 10% tariffs after a public comment period.

“Despite the serious economic consequences of ever-increasing tariffs, today there are no serious trade discussions occurring between the US and China, no plans for trade negotiations anytime soon, and seemingly little action toward a solution,” Brady said.

Brady warned that the trade dispute could progress to a “long, multi-year trade war between the two largest economies in the world that engulfs more and more of the globe.”

This comes a week after the US imposed 25% tariffs on Chinese goods worth $34 billion and Beijing retaliated with a tariff on US goods worth $34 billion that targeted US cars and major agricultural goods.

China’s Commerce Ministry said Wednesday that the Trump administration’s announcement of new measures was “unacceptable” and warned that China would have to respond with “necessary countermeasures,” without providing details.

House Speaker Paul Ryan showed support for Brady’s suggestion Wednesday, telling reporters on Capitol Hill that he believes it’s a “good idea” for Trump and Xi to have a one-on-one.

Ryan said that while the US should confront China about its unfair trade practices, he does not think “tariffs are the right mechanism to do that.”