China hopeful on US trade talks

11 March, 2019, 10:30 | Author: Mary Valdez
  • Copper price: Chinese concentrate imports hit monthly record

"We must not let them fool us into thinking this new "law" is anything other than a shiny object that will do nothing to stop Chinese state-directed actors' continued assault on USA companies' intellectual property and trade secrets", Rubio said.

Chinese exports saw the steepest fall in three years in February, adding to worries about growth in the world's second largest economy.

If the sharp plunge in China's exports in February shows anything, it's that a gap is opening between what the country is shipping out and its still resilient imports of major commodities.

China's foreign trade of goods fell 13.8 percent year on year in February to 266.36 billion USA dollars, customs data showed Friday.

However, analysts caution it is hard to compare trends in China's data at the start of the year due to the Chinese New Year holiday, which came in early February this year and can affect business activity. On Wednesday, the USA reported its goods trade deficit with China surged to an all-time high previous year, underlining one of the key sticking points.

USA stocks dropped with the dollar on Friday, after a report showed that US hiring unexpectedly tumbled in February with the economy adding just 20,000 jobs.

Imports of copper concentrate continued to rise sharply, up 25% from a year ago to 1.93m tonnes last month.

China and the USA are reported to be close to an accord that would end their nine-month trade dispute after progress in the negotiations led Washington to delay raising punitive tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese imports, originally scheduled to take effect from the start of this month.

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China put its surplus at a lower but still record US$323.3 billion.

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks with reporters outside the White House, in Washington, D.C., on March 8, 2019.

Willems said the two countries had made progress in talks but that there was still much more to be done.

Speaking at a press conference in Beijing Saturday the Chinese vice commerce minister said both sides are working toward a deal that is "equal and fair".

There is little point in looking at the February trade numbers in isolation, given the impact on trade flows caused by the timing of the Lunar New Year holidays.

He noted the US Treasury Department had declined many times to label China a currency manipulator in its semi-annual report on worldwide exchange rates. After averaging the first two months data to smooth the holiday fluctuations, shipments still dropped nearly 5 percent. For the Chinese, any summit would basically be a signing ceremony, it said.

Actual growth last year slowed to 6.6 percent, and is expected to cool further to 6.2 percent this year.

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