Chinese exports to the USA have held up despite tariff increases of up to 25 percent on $250 billion of Chinese imports, partly due to exporters rushing to fill orders before more increases hit.
US President Donald Trump boasted Tuesday that US-China trade negotiations were going "very well" as officials held talks in Beijing that will spill into a third day.
Upon completion of the meetings, Ted McKinney, U.S. Under Secretary of Agriculture for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs, was quoted by Reuters saying the talks "went just fine", and that "It's been a good one for us". Recent reports have claimed negotiators on both sides are making progress as mid-level talks continue in Beijing.
Analysts said the positive momentum from the working talks will need to be followed up by more senior officials, such as Liu and USA trade representative Robert Lighthizer, who is in charge of overall negotiations on the U.S. side. -China talks raised hopes of easing trade tensions between the two superpowers, while OPEC-led crude output cuts also provided support.
Asked if that meant the talks had been hard, Lu said: "I can only say that extending the consultations shows that the two sides were indeed very serious in conducting the consultations".
In the meantime, companies in both countries are feeling pain from the effects of United States tariffs and retaliation from China, which are starting to mount.
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How China will enforce those measures will be key to any deal. Among many things, the Communist leader pledged to buy more USA agricultural and industrial products, allow increased access to Chinese markets, and abide by more cybersecurity and property theft rules. Apple Inc (AAPL.O) rattled global markets last week by cutting its sales outlook, blaming weak demand in China.
Shanghai economist Andy Xie says the talks wouldn't have been extended if they were going poorly.
For their part, Chinese officials are unhappy with USA curbs on exports of "dual use" technology with possible military applications.
El Paso, Texas-based Helen of Troy Ltd, a maker of consumer products from OXO kitchen utensils to Braun shavers, cut its sales and gross margin outlooks on Tuesday laid some of the blame on USA tariffs on Chinese goods, which make up 70 percent of the company's cost of products sold. More senior-level discussions could take place this month, with the South China Morning Post reporting that Trump and Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan may meet at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
Asked about the growing criticisms of OPEC coming from the White House, Mazrouei maintained that OPEC listens to what the US has to say when it comes to oil prices and production but insisted that the cartel "always does the right thing".
The US delegation to Beijing this week was led by Jeff Gerrish, deputy to US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer who is leading the negotiations for the Trump administration.