Trump to discuss trade with China's Xi as talks continue

Charles  Adobe Stock

Charles Adobe Stock

Last year's merchandise trade surplus totalled $375 billion, according to US data, while Chinese statistics put it at about $276 billion.

"China's top economic adviser, the vice versa, will likely be coming next week to keep up the conversations together with the President's economic group, and we'll continue to keep you posted as discussions are ongoing", she said.

President Donald Trump was briefed Monday morning by members of the USA delegation led by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who returned to Washington on the weekend from a two-day visit to China, White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters on Monday.

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The call, which also highlighted the recent breakthrough regarding North Korean nuclear issues, came amid the two sides' increased diplomatic efforts to settle disputes centred around U.S. demands on issues such as trade deficit reduction and intellectual property rights protection. Last year Beijing backed a series of U.N. Security Council resolutions created to choke off funding for the weapons development.

Kim reaffirmed his commitment to dismantling his nuclear weapons program if "relevant parties abolish their hostile policies and remove security threats against" his country, China's Xinhua news agency said, a remark apparently directed at the U.S.

Mnuchin's team also asked China to cut its U.S. trade surplus by at least US$200 billion by the end of 2020 and not resort to retaliatory measures against Washington.

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The escalation began as an effort by Trump to reverse the trend of rising trade deficits the USA has with China, which hit a record US$375 billion in 2017 and has continued rising this year.

"The two leaders discussed issues of mutual interest, including recent developments on the Korean Peninsula and President Xi's meeting today with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un", the White House said in a readout of the phone call. The US along with Japan, China, and South Korea had supported the denuclearization of North Korea.

This would be the second high-level meeting since a bilateral trade dispute escalated in March.

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The United States had strongly rallied for the UNSC decision of imposing sanctions on North Korea.

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