US President Donald Trump says he will meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping next month and expects their discussions will be “very fruitful”, as the trade war between the world’s two largest economies intensified.
Earlier on Monday, China announced higher tariffs on a range of US goods including frozen vegetables and liquefied natural gas.
The move followed Washington’s decision last week to hike its own levies on $US200 billion ($A287 billion) in Chinese imports.
Trump had warned Beijing not to retaliate.
The US president said he would meet Xi at a G20 summit in Japan in late June.
“We’re dealing with them. We have a very good relationship,” Trump said in remarks at the White House on Monday.
“Maybe something will happen. We’re going to be meeting, as you know, at the G20 in Japan and that’ll be, I think, probably a very fruitful meeting.”
Trump added that he had not yet decided whether to go ahead with tariffs on roughly another $US325 billion ($A467 billion) in goods from China.
For its part, China said on Monday it plans to set import tariffs ranging from 5 per cent to 25 per cent on 5140 US products on a revised $US60 billion ($A86 billion) target list. It said the tariffs will take effect on June 1.
“China’s adjustment on additional tariffs is a response to US unilateralism and protectionism,” its finance ministry said.
“China hopes the US will get back to the right track of bilateral trade and economic consultations and meet with China halfway.”
The prospect that the US and China were spiralling into a no-holds-barred dispute that could derail the global economy has rattled investors and led to a sharp selloff on equities markets in the past week.
Global equities tumbled again on Monday, with major Wall Street stock indexes down more than 2 per cent. China’s yuan currency fell to its lowest level since December and oil futures slumped.
Kristina Hooper, chief global market strategist at Invesco in New York, said investors were anxious.
“It’s clear that there is a lot of nervousness around the US-China trade negotiations and concern that it’s really deteriorating pretty significantly, and that’s impacting all areas of markets,” she said.
Trump stepped up his verbal attacks on China on Friday after two days of high-level trade negotiations in Washington ended with the two sides in an apparent stalemate.
US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told CNBC the talks were ongoing and he was working on when to travel to Beijing.