China trade talks to continue in DC

Larry Hoffman
May 9, 2018

The news came during Monday's White House press briefing when a reporter asked Press Secretary Sarah Sanders whether President Donald Trump had any reaction to last week's trade talks in Beijing between a delegation of top USA trade officials and Chinese government officials.

Just days ahead of a visit to the United States by a top trade official representing China, and on the heels of stalled trade negotiations in Beijing with a USA delegation, increased inspections of U.S. pork imports at Chinese ports is causing the most recent bottleneck of shipments there, according to a Reuters report.

China's trade surplus with the U.S. clocked in at USD22 billion in April.

Its imports from the U.S. rose 20.3 percent, the fastest growth in three months. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin led the trip that involved two days of trade talks on Thursday and Friday.

They have ramped up tensions in recent weeks with threats to impose tariffs on tens of billions of dollars of each other's products.

China denies that its policies coerce foreign firms to transfer technology to Chinese competitors.

On Tuesday morning, Mr. Trump tweeted that he would talk with Chinese President Xi Jinping at 8:30 a.m. ET. And we are working on something that we think will be great for everybody.

China is now embroiled in a months-long brawl with the U.S. over trade.

The US side demanded that China reduce its trade surplus with the US to the tune of US$200bn by 2020. President Donald Trump's demands that China slash its surplus with the USA have become a cornerstone of his combative economic policy.

For January-April, it rose to US$80.4 billion, compared with about US$71 billion in the same period past year. Last year's merchandise trade surplus totaled $375 billion, according to USA data, while Chinese statistics put it at about $276 billion.

In Beijing, a foreign ministry spokesman did not confirm Liu's visit, but said China viewed the White House statement positively, and that handling trade issues through consultations served the interests of both countries, as well as of the world.

Julian Evans-Pritchard, an economist at Capital Economics, said despite a seasonal uptick in export growth, the data suggest that foreign demand for Chinese goods has started to soften, with the prospect of possible United States tariffs weighing on the outlook.

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