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  • U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer (L), Chinese Vice Premier Liu He (C) and U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin interact during a two-day high-level consultation in Beijing.

    U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer (L), Chinese Vice Premier Liu He (C) and U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin interact during a two-day high-level consultation in Beijing. | Photo: Reuters

Published 14 February 2019

Officials from both countries aim to strike a deal before the March 1 deadline which threatens to effect U.S. tariffs on US$200 billion worth of Chinese imports.

Chinese import-exports figures, for January, surpassed expectations, according to a Reuters report. The good fortune prefaces Thursday’s trade talks with the United States in Beijing.

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Dollar-denominated exports rose 9.1 percent from a year ago, according to Chinese customs data, countering a previously forecast reduction of 3.2 percent. Imports, on the other hand, fell by 1.5 percent but managed to better a 10-percent projected decline, Reuters stated.

Officials from both countries aim to strike a deal before the March 1 deadline which threatens to effect U.S. tariffs on US$200 billion worth of Chinese imports, from 10 percent to 25 percent.

According to Bloomberg, U.S. President Donald Trump is allegedly open to a possible 60-day extension of the Mar. 1.

"It's going along very well. We'll see what happens, but I think it's going along very well... They're showing us tremendous respect," Trump said about the U.S.-China talks.

Chinese President Xi Jinping is scheduled to meet with U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer on Friday, the South China Morning Post reported.

China's overall trade surplus was US$39.16 billion in January, lower than December’s US$57.06 billion. Exports to the United States dropped 2.4 percent from a year ago, while imports plummeted 41.2 percent.

Along with Lighthizer and Mnuchin, the new round of high-level economic and trade discussion will be jointly chaired by Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chief of the Chinese side of the China-U.S. comprehensive economic dialogue.

The two-day high-level consultation is expected to conclude on Friday.

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