World

China trade talks to resume in Washington next week: White House

China trade talks to resume in Washington next week: White House

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.

On April 2 the Chinese government implemented additional retaliatory tariffs of 25 percent on agricultural and food products imported from the US, including pork, according to the US Meat Export Federation (USMEF).

China's exports rebounded more strongly than expected last month after a surprise drop the previous month, suggesting global demand remains relatively resilient and providing a cushion to the economy amid a heated trade dispute with the United States.

"We are working on something that we think will be great for everybody", said Sanders who promised to keep reporters "posted as discussions are ongoing".

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders announced the plan for continued talks on Monday.

Overall, China's April trade balance was a positive $28.78 billion, topping predictions of $24.7 billion.

China's exports to the USA rose 13.9 per cent in the first four months of 2018 from a year earlier, compared with a 14.8 per cent rise in January-March. 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 data suggest that foreign demand for Chinese goods has started to soften, with the prospect of possible USA tariffs weighing on the outlook", said Julian Evans-Pritchard, China Economist at Capital Economics, in a note. Last year's merchandise trade surplus totalled $375 billion, according to USA data, while Chinese statistics put it at about $276 billion.

In April, the trade surplus with the US swelled to $22.2 billion, up from $15.4 in March and the first increase since November, as exports to the USA grew at a double digit pace.

However, China said "big differences" remained between the two sides after last week's talks while leaks of the negotiating positions showed both were digging in with hardline demands.

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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