World Media

China says working with USA on trade deal

U.S. President Donald Trump and China's President Xi Jinping

China consumes half the world's copper, and trade data released on Friday showed the country's imports of unwrought copper fell by more than a third in February at 311,000 tonnes from a bumper 479,000 tonnes last month.

Donald Trump on Friday said he remains optimistic but will not sign a pact unless it is a "very good deal", and a top economic advisor said the U.S. president could walk away from a bad deal.

Asked about the prospects of a deal, Mr Wang told reporters he was "hopeful" as both sides worked around the clock to reach consensus.

On Wednesday, the 6th of March 2019, the US Commerce Department had said that there had been a 12.4 percent jump in the deficit in last December, which had potentially contributed to a record $891.3 billion trade deficit over the last month of the final quarter in 2018.

The governments of the world's two largest economies have been locked in a tariff battle for months as Washington presses Beijing to address long-standing concerns over Chinese practices and policies around technology transfers, market access and intellectual property rights.

Trump postponed a sharp US tariff hike slated for early March as the talks progressed, but both Washington and Beijing have kept previous duties in place.

It was much the same for iron ore, with February imports looking soft at 84.27 million tonnes, but the total for the first two months coming in at 184.74 million tonnes, a gain of 5.4 percent over the same period in 2018. 'Both sides agree that there has to be significant progress, meaning a feeling that they're very close before that happens'. Then he added: "We will do very well either way, with or without a deal".

One complicating factor has been Xi's plans to visit Europe after a meeting of the National People's Congress ends next week.

But "you saw them walk away from North Korea and just saying could apply to trade", he said, referring to Trump's recent summit in Hanoi with the North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, which ended early and without an agreement.

Progress in negotiations has seen Washington suspend further tariff hikes on Chinese imports and all eyes are on when the leaders of both countries will meet to sign off a deal.

Taiwan's exports fell 8.8 percent in February from a year earlier to US$20.39 billion, the fourth consecutive month of year-on-year decline, according to data compiled by the Ministry of Finance (MOF).

China's nearly 3,000 lawmakers are set to pass a new foreign investment law that bans forced technology transfer by local governments.

By sector, the value of base metal exports fell 17.7 percent from a year earlier to US$1.76 billion in February, while that of chemical exports dropped 16.5 percent to US$1.35 billion, the MOF said.

"If the deal doesn't work for the United States, and our long-term interests, whether it's technology, IP, theft, enforcement, commodities, tariffs ... then it's not our deal".