US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross will lead a trade mission to China in mid-November as part of President Trump’s first visit there, the Commerce Department said in a notice posted on its website. The Department said the multi-sector mission “will advance the bilateral commercial relationship by promoting business deals between US and Chinese firms, as well as addressing market access barriers faced by US companies,” the Commerce Department said in a statement. The department said it was taking applications from trade associations and companies large and small through Sept 29. According to Reuters, the trade mission comes at a time of heightened trade tensions between the United States and China following Trump’s decision on Wednesday to block a Chinese-backed private equity firm from buying a US-based chipmaker. In July, a high-level US-China economic dialogue meeting did not produce an agreement the Trump administration’s demands of reducing the US trade deficit with China.