US seeking new trade talks with China: WSJ

US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, pictured July 2018, recently sent an invitation to Chinese officials proposing a bilateral meeting at ministerial level

Washington has proposed a fresh round of trade talks with Beijing to tackle problems before the Trump administration slaps more tariffs on Chinese imports, the Wall Street Journal said Wednesday.

US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin recently sent an invitation to Chinese officials proposing a bilateral meeting at ministerial level, the daily reported.

Such a meeting could take place in Washington or Beijing, according to informed sources.

There was no immediate reaction by the US Treasury department to the report.

The escalating trade spat between Washington and Beijing has generated turbulence in global markets.

Trump has already imposed 25-percent customs duties on $50 billion worth of Chinese goods, triggering a tit-for-tat response from Beijing.

He vowed last week to increase tariffs to hit an additional $200 billion in Chinese imports "very soon" unless China agreed to steps that would reduce its massive trade surplus.