A high-level delegation of US government officials is travelling to Beijing for a series of trade talks. Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Zhang Qiyue said yesterday Beijing officials would meet US Commerce Secretary Donald Evans and US Labour Secretary Elaine Chao. Mr Evans arrives tomorrow for a six-day visit, while Ms Chao is expected in the capital on Monday. The meetings will come just days after a US congressional report claimed Sino-US economic ties were hurting the American economy. The semi-official China News Service said the central government's desire to gain market-economy status would be the main topic of discussion. Beijing has been actively lobbying for a change in its economic designation. Its current status as a non-market economy has made it difficult for mainland companies to fight anti-dumping disputes. In such cases, investigators refer to a surrogate country - such as India - to calculate the cost of a product, which is often higher than it would be on the mainland. This means it is more likely that Chinese products will be viewed as having been dumped. Only four nations have granted China market-economy status: New Zealand, Singapore, Malaysia and Kyrgyzstan. The European Union is expected to make a decision on its review of China's status this month. However, Washington has said it will not make a change until Beijing reduces price controls and opens key domestic markets to foreign competition. During a congressional hearing in April, Mr Evans said Beijing must also improve labour standards and loosen currency rates to meet Washington's market-economy requirements. Earlier this week, the Congress-sanctioned US-China Economic and Security Review Commission urged Washington to investigate Chinese subsidies.