China Trade Deal Must Be 'Very Good,' or No Deal

China Trade Deal Must Be 'Very Good,' or No Deal

According to The Wall Street Journal report on Friday, a US-China trade accord is facing a new roadblock, as Chinese officials balk at committing to a presidential summit until the two countries have a firm deal in hand. Experts attribute the bounce back to companies rushing orders before the Lunar New Year holiday in China.

Imports also slumped. They totaled 309 billion dollars, a drop of 3.1 percent.

Optimism about a rapid resolution of the months-long US-China trade war was undercut by conflicting comments out of Washington and Beijing, sending global stock markets on a downward slide on Friday. Premier Li Keqiang, the top economic official, warned this week China faces a "graver and more complicated environment".

Recent economic data points to the difficulties China faces with growth in the last three months of 2018 clocking in at 6.4 per cent. Washington has threatened to lift tariffs from 10 per cent to 25 per cent on $US200 billion of Chinese imports if they can not resolve thier differences. But they started to slide in last December once the full impact of the penalties hit.

Already, Trump has delayed additional tariffs that were set to be slapped on China at the beginning of March, believing significant progress was being made toward a deal. "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.

U.S. trade deficit had reached a record high in 2018, as lower tax triggered strong domestic demands had been fueling imports despite Trump's America first policies, targeted at shrinking a growing trade gap.

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

A truce with Trump would help exports, but "tensions on technology and China's industrial policy are unlikely to subside any time soon", Kuijs said.

As for trade with the U.S., exports dropped 14 percent, and imports plunged 35 percent.

In the same period, exports to the 28-nation European Union rose 2.4 per cent from a year earlier to USD64.7 billion. China put its surplus at a lower but still record $323.3 billion.

Nonetheless, crude oil imports were 10.23 million barrels per day (bpd) in February, the third-highest on a daily basis and above January's 10.03 million bpd.

The country's global trade surplus was USD43.7 billion.

On March 6, the USA reported its goods trade deficit with China surged to an all-time high a year ago, underlining one of the key sticking points.

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