Chinese minister appeals to Washington to avoid 'trade war'

China's commerce minister has appealed to Washington to negotiate disputes with Beijing and avoid a "trade war" that he warned would hurt both sides.

Gao Hucheng, responding to a question about President Donald Trump's promise to raise taxes on Chinese imports, said at a news conference Tuesday the two governments should work together to promote trade.

Gao said a trade war "should not become an option." He appealed to Washington to "properly solve" disputes through "dialogue and cooperation."

Trump promised during his election campaign to raise import duties on Chinese goods to 40 percent but has yet to take formal action. He also promised to declare Beijing improperly manipulated the exchange rate of its yuan to give its exporters a price advantage, which would open the way to other sanctions.