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Photo: Wang Zhao/AFP/Getty Images

China’s Commerce Ministry said in a statement Thursday that its trade representatives will fly to Washington, D.C., in early October to resume stalled trade talks with the United States, the Washington Post reports.

Why it matters: Per Axios' Neal Rothschild, President Trump's trade war has led to bigger trade deficits with China, even though it was intended to improve the trade balance. It's dented consumer sentiment, and the International Monetary Fund has said the prolonged trade tensions were weighing down the global economy.

  • Trump slapped more tariffs on China this month — about $110 billion of Chinese imports. The Chinese government responded with retaliatory taxes.
  • The U.S. is set to raise tariffs to 30% on largely nonconsumer items on Oct. 1. China is due to retaliate by raising taxes on American items such as soybeans.

Details: Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin spoke by phone and agreed to meet, state-run China Central Television said, per the Wall Street Journal.

  • The U.S. side confirmed the phone call to the WSJ and said a high-level meeting would take place in D.C. in the coming weeks. "Both sides said deputy-level officials would work together in mid-September to lay the groundwork," the Journal notes.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

The Mischief Makers

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Several Republican and Democratic lawmakers are emerging as troublemakers within their parties and political thorns for their leadership.

Why it matters: We're calling this group "The Mischief Makers" — members who threaten to upend party unity — the theme eclipsing Washington at the moment — and potentially jeopardize the Democrats' or Republicans' position heading into the 2022 midterms.

55 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Obama speechwriter fears Biden unity drive is one-sided

Cody Keenan (right) is shown heading to Marine One in December 2009. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Obama's former speechwriter says he's "preemptively frustrated" with President Biden's effort to find unity with Republicans.

What they're saying: Cody Keenan told Axios that Biden's messaging team has "struck all the right chords," but at some point "they're gonna have to answer questions like, 'Why didn't you achieve unity?' when there's an entire political party that's already acting to stop it."

Scoop: Conservative group puts $700k behind Hawley

Sen. Josh Hawley explains his objection to certifying the 2020 election results hours after the U.S. Capitol siege. Photo: Congress.gov via Getty Images

A Republican group is raising and spending huge amounts of money defending Sen. Josh Hawley after he was ostracized for early January’s attack on the U.S. Capitol.

Why it matters: The Senate Conservatives Fund is plugging Hawley's ideological bona fides and backfilling lost corporate cash with needed political and financial support, helping inoculate him as he weighs reelection or a possible presidential campaign in 2024.

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