China's economic woes put USA in strong position in trade talks

China and U.S. to Hold Trade Talks in Beijing Week

USA officials will travel to Beijing for talks on Monday and Tuesday next week, with China's Ministry of Commerce saying it hopes the talks will be "positive and constructive". American officials worry those might erode USA industrial leadership, and complain that China's technological prowess is underpinned by the theft of intellectual property from US firms.

Apple chief executive Tim Cook blamed the company's sales shortfall on the trade battle President Donald Trump is waging against China.

In the messages sent Tuesday, Xi underlined the importance of working with the US "to advance China-US relations featuring coordination, cooperation and stability", state news agency Xinhua reported.

The results have been more negative for the U.S. than for China, according to a recent HSBC research note.

Another 33 percent of companies said they plan to move out of China in the next six to 12 months, according to the UBS report.

Now China and the United States face a March deadline for talks to end the damaging trade war, or Washington could proceed with a sharp hike in U.S. tariffs and Beijing could retaliate.

It could mark a turn from most of 2018 when many economists and officials said the Trump administration's higher trade tariffs had yet to seriously hurt US growth.

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Jeffrey Gerrish, the U.S. deputy trade representative will lead the delegation travelling from Washington to China.

But aside from products facing earlier tariffs - including washing machines, solar panels and metals - Chinese exports to the U.S. have held up better than expected. For the 2018 full year, Apple shares fell 7 percent, though they are up about 24 percent since Trump took office in January 2017.

What was hailed just a year ago as an era when the world's major economies would all grow together has evolved in a more volatile direction, with the United States juiced along by tax cuts and government spending while the rest of the world sputters.

The U.S. Federal Reserve's interest rate increases have caused investors to move in and out of various markets, hitting some emerging markets hard. It was the fourth month of contraction, and it put annual sales in the world's biggest auto market on track to contract for the first time in three decades.

On January 1, China and the United States congratulated each other on the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries. Also set to travel are USTR's chief agricultural negotiator Gregg Doud; the Department of Agriculture's under secretary for trade and foreign agricultural affairs Ted McKinney; Commerce Department undersecretary for worldwide trade Gilbert Kaplan and the Energy Department's assistant secretary for fossil energy Steven Winberg. There are fears of both sides hiking tariffs if no deal is reached.

In the same year, late paramount leader, often credited with China's "Reform and Opening" policy which led to its economic transformation, met USA president in the United States.

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