China on Tuesday called for U.S. trade talks to be conducted on an equal footing, as Beijing's top economic official is due in Washington next week for more discussions on a dispute that could trigger tariffs on billions of dollars of goods this month.
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.
The world's two largest economies have threatened each other with tariffs on tens of billions of dollars' worth of exports, leading to worries that Washington and Beijing might plunge into a full-scale trade war that could damage global growth and roil financial markets.
Of note, the country's trade surplus with the USA expanded to $22.19 billion in April - compared with a surplus of $15.43 billion in March, customs data showed.
"Lingering trade tension and uncertainty will likely negatively affect China's export orders and related business investment", he said, according to Bloomberg News.
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. "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.
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South Korea's national security adviser, Chung Eui-yong, is now in Washington for talks with his USA counterpart John Bolton. In his remarks to reporters Friday, Trump said his administration is in "constant contact" with North Korean leadership.
"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.
Consequently, the trade surplus totalled USD28.8 billion in April, above the expected level of USD27.75 billion. President Donald Trump's demands that China slash its surplus with the US have become a cornerstone of his combative economic policy.
For January-April, China's trade surplus with the United States was $80.4 billion. Last year's merchandise trade surplus totalled $375 billion, according to USA data, while Chinese statistics put it at about $276 billion.
The White House has announced that China's top economic advisor and Vice Premier Liu He is set to visit Washington next week to resume discussions concerning the settling of trade issues.
China said last week that some progress was made in the talks in Beijing, but acknowledged that the two sides remain far apart on some issues.
A Reuters report citing sources said China had offered to buy more United States goods and lower tariffs on some goods, including cars.