Trump Spoke With China's Xi on Trade, Says Talks Going 'Nicely'


The US and China's tit-for-tat tariffs on each other's goods have rumbled on for months as Trump pledges to help create more US manufacturing jobs.

News signaling improvements in U.S.

Trump has asked key cabinet secretaries to have their staff draw up a potential deal to signal a ceasefire in an escalating trade conflict, sources said, adding that multiple agencies are involved in drafting the plan.

Trump made no mention of whether the two leaders talked about the USA indictment unveiled Thursday of two companies based in China and Taiwan accusing them of stealing trade secrets from a US semiconductor company, Micron Technology Inc.

"We have the capability and the wisdom to overcome barriers and push China-U.S. relations back to a normal track - this isn't just beneficial for both countries, but also the world".

"He wants to do it", Mr Trump said of Mr Xi.

"Opec and other major producers appear to have gotten the message from US President Donald Trump and increased production, but there are still questions on how much will the sanctions actually impact Iranian exports", said National Australia Bank senior forex strategist Rodrigo Catril.

Xi was quoted as saying after the call with Trump that they had hoped to expand trade cooperation.

The two countries have imposed tariffs on hundreds of-billions of dollars of each other's goods and Trump has threatened to put tariffs on the remainder of China's $500-billion-plus exports to the United States if the disputes can not be resolved.

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Jacob Parker, vice president of China operations at the US-China Business Council in Beijing, said there were plenty of challenges that would require significant negotiations in advance of a meeting between Trump and Xi to ensure success.

Disagreements on trade have "adversely affected" industries from both countries as well as global trade, Xi said.

The HSI and Shanghai were already buoyant after Beijing said it would introduce measures to kickstart the stuttering economy following a string of weak data, including growth at its slowest pace in nine years during the third quarter.

On Thursday, the USA accused a Chinese state-owned company of conspiring to steal trade secrets of U.S. chip maker Micron Technology as part of a Justice Department crackdown against China in cases of alleged economic espionage.

Trump said he also talked with Xi about "many subjects", including a "good discussion" on North Korea, where Trump is trying to negotiate an end to Pyongyang's nuclear weapons program.

Fujian Jinhua Integrated Circuit and Taiwan's United Microelectronics were charged along with three individuals, the Justice Department said.

On Thursday Chinese Premier Li Keqiang also told a group of visiting US politicians that China and the United States could overcome their differences and get relations back on track if they worked together in a spirit of mutual respect.

The United States has imposed tariffs on $250-billion worth of Chinese goods, with duties on $200-billion of the total set to increase to 25 per cent from 10 per cent on January 1, 2019.

"I hope that China and the USA will meet each other halfway and will appropriately handle their differences with mutual respect and equal cooperation", stated the Chinese premier.