Top Chinese economic adviser to visit U.S. next week for trade talks

09 May, 2018, 00:42 | Author: Diane Mills
  • China Trade Talks Continue Next Week in DC

"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 Press Secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters at her daily news conference yesterday.

HONG KONG-China's exports rebounded in April and its politically sensitive monthly trade surplus with the United States grew for the first time in five months as Beijing and Washington haggled over the chronic imbalance.

Customs data showed the surplus grew 4.2 percent on-year to $22.2 billion last month, with exports rising by a tenth and imports up more than 20 percent.

Data released Tuesday show exports jumped 21.5 percent from the same month the year before, bouncing back from a contraction the previous month thanks to resurgent global demand. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin led the trip that involved two days of trade talks on Thursday and Friday.

The negotiations could head off the threatened USA tariffs targeting $150 billion in imports, while China has warned $50 billion in goods are in the firing line.

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The US delegation demanded that China curb the two nations' trade deficit by at least 200 billion dollars by the end of 2020 from 2018 levels, as well as lower tariffs and eliminate subsidies for high tech.

President Donald Trump tweeted last week that "it is hard for China in that they have become very spoiled with US trade wins!"

In the first four months of the year, China's surplus with the United States totalled USD80.4 billion, a 13% increase over the same period last year. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, Assistant to the President for Economic Policy Larry Kudlow, and Assistant to the President for Trade and Manufacturing Policy Peter Navarro were all on the trip.

The meetings follow a series of tit-for-tat threats of tariffs on billions of dollars of goods sparked earlier this year by US President Donald Trump, who accuses China of using unfair practices to gain an advantage over US exporters costing American jobs. Last year's merchandise trade surplus totalled $375 billion, according to USA data, while Chinese statistics put it at about $276 billion.

Trump doubled down, threatening $100 billion in tariffs on Chinese imports to the U.S.

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