WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Trump administration held “frank and constructive” talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping’s top economic adviser, Liu He, on Thursday, a White House official said, the same day U.S. President Donald Trump said he would impose steep tariffs on imported steel and aluminum in a veiled threat to China.

“We underscored the importance of achieving balance and reciprocity in the economic relationship,” the official said of the meeting between Liu He and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, White House economic adviser Gary Cohn, and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer. “We discussed ways to ensure fair and reciprocal trade.”

On Wednesday, Liu He met with top U.S. business executives from companies including Boeing, JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, BlackRock and Chubb as part of his trip to the United States for trade talks.

Trump’s announcement on tariffs raised the prospect of retaliation from Beijing amid fears it could spark a trade war. Trump said the duties of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum would be formally announced next week.

Reporting by Steve Holland and David Brunnstrom; Writing by Mohammad Zargham and Lindsay Dunsmuir; Editing by Leslie Adler and Daniel Wallis

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