China says top U.S. trade officials to visit Beijing March 28-29

FILE PHOTO: Chinese staffers adjust U.S. and Chinese flags before the opening session of trade negotiations between U.S. and Chinese trade representatives at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing, Thursday, Feb. 14, 2019. Mark Schiefelbein/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo

BEIJING (Reuters) - A U.S. trade delegation headed by Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin will visit China on March 28-29 for the next round of negotiations, China’s commerce ministry said on Thursday.

In return, Vice Premier Liu He will travel to the Washington in early April for more talks, according to ministry spokesman Gao Feng, as the world’s two biggest economies try to hammer out a trade deal to end months of disputes.

The face-to-face talks will be the first since President Donald Trump delayed a March 1 deadline to avert a rise in tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports to 25 percent from the current 10 percent.

Trump warned on Wednesday that the United States may leave tariffs on Chinese goods for a “substantial period” to ensure that Beijing complies with any trade agreement, adding to uncertainty over the talks.

Reporting by Yawen Chen and Beijing Monitoing Desk; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore & Kim Coghill