Trade war

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Chinese exports rebound in Jan

Workers check a shipping container on a truck at Qingdao Port on January 14, 2019 in Qingdao, Shandong Province of China.
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China's exports unexpectedly returned to growth in January, according to media reports.

Exports rose 9.1% in January compared with a year go and imports fell 1.5% over that period.

Economists in a Reuters poll had expected a 3.2% drop in exports and a whopping 10% fall in imports.

The data comes as US and Chinese officials are meeting in Beijing to try to reach a deal to end a devastating trade war.

US may push back trade deal deadline by 60 days-report

Chinese and American national flags fly on Tian'anmen Square to welcome U.S. President Donald Trump on November 8, 2017 in Beijing, China.
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US President Donald Trump is considering pushing back the deadline for achieving a deal before higher tariffs on Chinese imports kick in by 60 days, Bloomberg has reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

The report comes as high-level talks are taking place in Beijing this week to find a solution to a damaging trade war.

Trump could let China trade deadline "slide"

This photo taken on August 2, 2018 shows workers at a swimwear factory in Yinglin town in Jinjiang, in China's eastern Fujian Province.
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US President Donald Trump has said he could extend the 1 March deadline to reach a trade deal with China if they are making good progress.

Chinese and US officials will hold high-level talks this week aimed at halting their damaging trade war.

US officials previously said 1 March was a hard deadline for achieving a deal to avert further tariffs.

"If we're close to a deal where we think we can make a real deal and it's going to get done, I could see myself letting that slide for a little while," Mr Trump said referring to the March 1 deadline.

"But generally speaking, I'm not inclined to do that."

Trump reportedly wants to meet with Xi "very soon"

Chinese and American national flags fly on Tian'anmen Square to welcome U.S. President Donald Trump on November 8, 2017 in Beijing, China.
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White House adviser Kellyanne Conway told Fox News that US President Donald Trump wants to meet with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping "very soon", according to media reports.

“This president wants a deal. He wants it to be fair to Americans and American workers and American interests,” she was quoted as saying.

Tech competition behind US-China friction

Today Programme

BBC Radio 4

Mr Britton says that China has reached a stage of development where it needs technology to move further ahead. To do that it is buying companies in sectors where it considers itself behind the US, including computers and electronics.

As a result there is likely to be ongoing trade friction, according to Mr Britton.

"The big game that's going on underneath this is the acquisition of technology through the acquisition of companies by China, so it's not just as simple as the Trump administration seems to think."

The never-ending trade war

Today Programme

BBC Radio 4

China port workers
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The US and China restart trade talks this week. US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer arrive on Thursday.

Negotiators face a 1 March deadline, on which the US has threatened to raise tariffs on Chinese imports from 10% to 25%.

Erik Britton, the managing director of Fathom Consulting, says: "There will be a whole series of little solutions."

For example, the Chinese will agree to buy more US soya beans.

"The threat of tariffs and this to-ing and fro-ing and this endless series of meetings is going to continue really indefinitely. I don't think the Trump administration will remove the threat of tariffs," Mr Britton tells the Today Programme.

US-China trade talks resume

Shipping containers with US and China flags
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Beijing will host a round of US-China trade talks this week as both sides push to strike a deal before a looming 1 March deadline.

President Donald Trump has said he will hike tariffs on $200bn (£154.7bn) worth of Chinese goods from 10% to 25% if they don't reach an agreement by that deadline.

Preliminary talks kick off today, ahead of two days of high level discussions beginning on Thursday.