Tariffs loom as US-China talks begin

Washington (CNN)A consequential round of trade talks between the United States and China began with smiles and a dinner Thursday evening in Washington. Yet the outward optimism did not appear to translate into a last-minute agreement that could stave off a planned increase in tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods. “It’s possible to do it,” Trump said when asked about the prospect of an agreement that would prevent a tariff hike on Chinese goods. “I have no idea what’s going to happen.” Even a week ago, top administration officials appeared bullish on the chances a deal would soon be struck with China. But backtracking by the Chinese and an emboldened Trump have dampened the optimism, and on Wednesday …