Trump says trade war may be averted if China's Xi lowers tariffs

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In the wake of a raging US-China trade war, India on Sunday offered to export soybean and other agriculture products to Beijing, which has slapped retaliatory tariffs on American products.

While some analysts, including the US-China Business Council, cautioned that Xi had made similar promises before and never delivered, Manning said Trump was justified in celebrating.

The announcement coincided with President Xi Jinping speaking on the importance of Chinese naval power while attending a massive fleet review Thursday in the South China Sea off the coast of Hainan province.

Even as China's trade surplus narrowed overall in the first three months of the year, its surplus with the United States surged 19.4 percent to $58.25 billion from a year earlier, customs data showed on Friday.

However, for March the surplus fell to $15.4 billion from February's $21 billion, while it was also down from $17.7 billion 12 months ago. But there's considerably better news for the rest of us - Chinese imports also surged and by the end of the first quarter its trade deficit with the rest of the world stood at $9.86bn.

Against the backdrop of recent tensions, customs bureau spokesman Huang Songping repeated China's line that it is not looking for an advantage over its trading partners.

General Motors and its joint ventures reported a 2% year on year sales rise to 352,346 units in March, while Nissan's sales increased by 2.4% to 122,959 units and Toyota's were up by 5.4% at 118,500 units. "We hope that the United States will listen patiently to rational and pragmatic voices on the trade balance issue".

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China's exports to the U.S. rose 14.8 per cent in the first quarter from a year earlier, while imports rose 8.9 per cent.

Xi "said he's going to open up China".

But China's commerce ministry later reiterated that no negotiations were underway between the two capitals as Washington had not shown enough "sincerity". So if there can be liberalization of entertainment and if you can expand working groups from current five to two more: "one on culture which includes entertainment; the other one could be one on pharmaceuticals because we import a lot of your pharmaceuticals APIs". "I think we're having some great discussions", he told the gathering of lawmakers in Washington, though he repeated that the U.S. would win a trade war between the two sides. "We ask this Committee and Members of Congress to help allow soybean farmers be part of the solution instead of collateral damage from a potential trade war", concluded Heisdorffer.

"The US is a huge market and some of the companies, especially those less competitive, may be washed out", said Danny He, the founder of Alpha Lighting, a small LED maker in Dongguan with 100 workers.

In the first week of April, the U.S. announced tariffs worth $50 billion on Chinese products which, it said, was the result of Beijing forcing the American companies to transfer their technology to China's firms.

So far the large threats wielded by both sides have not been implemented.

- The Asian Development Bank said in a report on April 11 that China's economic growth is expected to reach 6.6 percent this year, citing strong demand from home and overseas. China exported $137.8 billion worth of high-tech products in the first quarter, up 20.5 percent on-year.

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