China vice premier to visit United States for trade talks

Hannah Rogers
May 9, 2018

China's exports grew by 13% year-on-year in April, beating analysts' expectations and recovering from a 2.7% drop in March.

The Chinese government issued a new batch of fuel export quotas totalling 19.33 million tonnes for 2018 under the general trade category, with market participants expecting Beijing to keep the total amount of grants this year largely flat from last year at around 43 million tonnes. China responded with threats of US exports to China in an equal amount and targeting industries that may cause the most impact.

US officials traveled to Beijing last week for talks with their Chinese counterparts to resolve the issue but made little progress.

"China's top economic adviser, the vice premier [Liu He], will be coming here next week to continue the discussions with the president's economic team", White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders told reporters. "The President has a great relationship with (Chinese) President Xi (Jinping), and we are working on something that we think will be great for everybody", Sanders said. "The backdrop of the ongoing trade negotiations between China and the U.S. is one in which global growth has already peaked and China's export performance is waning as a result".

For January-April, China's trade surplus with the United States was $80.4 billion. President Donald Trump's demands that China slash its surplus with the USA have become a cornerstone of his combative economic policy.

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China's trade surplus with the USA swelled to $22.2 billion, up from $15.4 in March and the first increase since November, as exports to the US grew at a double digit pace. Last year's surplus totaled $375 billion.

China's top economic adviser will visit the U.S. next week to continue discussions on the ongoing trade dispute between the two nations after talks in Beijing failed to produce a breakthrough to avert a possible trade war.

China's Commerce Ministry said the two sides had agreed to establish a mechanism to try to resolve their dispute, though differences remained, Chinese state media reported.

This will hopefully encourage a pragmatic approach to the trade negotiations by Chinese policymakers in order to avoid the imposition of tariffs and an even sharper slowdown in export growth, Evans-Pritchard added.

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