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Chinese Exports Decline 21 Percent in February

10 March 2019

Chinese President Xi Jinping and his US counterpart Donald Trump agreed in December to seek an agreement to address USA concerns and remove all additional tariffs.

Trump postponed a sharp USA tariff hike slated for early March as the talks progressed, but both Washington and Beijing have kept previous duties in place. "I haven't heard that".

President Donald Trump said he remains optimistic but will not agree to a pact with China unless it is a "very good deal".

'It has been a long and hard process, ' Branstad said, adding: 'I'm more hopeful now than I've been throughout the past year that we can see an effective agreement reached'.

Aimed at assuaging concerns about China's business environment for foreign firms, Beijing sees the law as a tool to attract more foreign investment as its economy slows. "But we're closer than we've been for a very long time".

Trump's walk-out in Hanoi illustrated his non-traditional approach to diplomacy.

"Seasonal distortions around the Chinese New Year holiday has added noise to the export data in the past two months, and in our view explain most of the surprise (relative to consensus)", said analysts at Goldman Sachs, whose estimate for a 20 percent export drop was the most pessimistic in the Reuters poll.

Trump has upended that practice, believing he is best positioned to secure concessions and complete agreements in direct talks with his foreign counterparts.

China-US trade in goods
China-US trade in goods

The ambassador also chimed in on the issue of United States criminal cases brought against Chinese telecoms firm Huawei and its chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou.

Global investors and China's major trading partners are closely watching Beijing's policy reactions as economic growth cools from last year's 28-year low.

Top trade officials from America and China are holding talks to negotiate a comprehensive trade deal.

The U.S. trade deficit with China widened in 2018 to a 10-year high of $621 billion, bucking Trump's pledges to reduce it, as tax cuts boosted domestic demand for imports while the strong dollar and retaliatory tariffs weighed on exports. And it's raised concerns in Beijing that a Mar-a-Lago summit - the second between the two men, who met at the resort in April 2017 - could end embarrassingly for Xi, whose willingness to meet at Trump's club rather than a neutral location could already be seen as a concession in the trade talks.

It is unclear when or where senior negotiators from both sides will next meet.

But they noted that export momentum on a three-month basis has moderated significantly since the third quarter previous year and said "growth is likely to remain soft in the near future".

China economist Chang Liu of Capital Economics in London told VOA that the drop in Chinese exports is due, at least in part, to the tariffs.

"It hurts the interests of the US, China and the world", he said.

Chinese Exports Decline 21 Percent in February