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'very strong signals' that China is ready for a trade deal

08 December 2018

President Donald Trump is attempting to even the global trading field, which has led to tariffs being placed on steel and aluminum imports from certain countries, along with several products made in China.

Import growth was 3 per cent, the slowest since October 2016, and a fraction of the 14.5 per cent seen in the poll. From August to October, the number increased by 30 percent.

The president's optimism comes just after a day since he publicly declared himself a "Tariff Man", and stood by his protectionist trade policies even after stocks fell almost 800 points amid confusion over the result of Trump's meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Imports grew 3 per cent, widening China's trade surplus to US$44.7 billion from US$34 billion.

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But Trump again sought to paint the talks in a more positive light, highlighting a report from Bloomberg that "Chinese officials have begun preparing to restart imports of U.S. Soybeans & Liquified Natural Gas" that were put on hold as a result of the president's initial tariffs.

Stirring fears of a reignition of trade tension, the daughter of Huawei Technologies' founder, a top executive at the Chinese technology giant, was arrested in Canada on Dec 1 and faces extradition to the United States, threatening to drive a wedge between the USA and China.

President Donald Trump, right, has dinner with China's President Xi Jinping, left and members of their delegation at the end of the G20 Leaders' Summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Dec. 01, 2018.

Trump and figures in his administration have said China would immediately start buying USA goods in bulk, but Beijing has refrained from confirming those claims.

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In a note, analysts at Haitong Securities in Shanghai said "Growth in shipments of Chinese goods on US$200 billion tariff list has started to pull back, indicating that frontloading effects may be starting to recede".

The trade surplus with the U.S. expanded to United States dollars 293.5 billion for January-November, up from USD 251.3 billion during the same period a year ago.

China's trade surplus with the United States was $35.55 billion in November, a record high and compared with $31.78 billion in the preceding month.

As U.S. businesses import more products from overseas, they are subject to higher taxes on those imports, thanks to the new tariffs imposed by the Trump administration. Despite those new tariffs, the trade gap with China also widened in October, increasing by $700 million to $38.2 billion.

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'very strong signals' that China is ready for a trade deal