China trade talks must cover currency, U.S. Treasury chief says

Trump warns there is 'a lot more' he can do to China

Total crude imports over the first nine months of the year climbed 6 percent from the same period in 2017 to 336 million tonnes, or 8.98 million bpd, the customs data showed.

This appears to have had some impact on Chinese imports of American products, which dropped by 9 percent last month.

China's stock market has plunged this year but the trade war has also started to erode Trump's oft-touted USA stock gains, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average down more than five percent for the week. Analysts had expected the surplus would shrink to $19.4 billion from $27.89 billion in August.

However, the Washington Post reports that the United States' trade deficit with China has only widened since the implementation of tariffs and hit a record-high $34.1 billion, according to Chinese statistics released this week.

The United States said Thursday, October 11, that it will increasingly restrict civilian nuclear exports to China as President Donald Trump vowed a hard line on trade, bluntly warning not to think Americans are "stupid".

The meeting was said to have been pushed by U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow.

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-China trade dispute. Pillsbury said this meeting presents a chance to squash the tit-for-tat tariff fight that the world's two biggest economies have been engaged in since July.

The two countries imposed new tariffs on a massive amount of each other's goods mid-September, with the USA targeting $200 billion in Chinese imports and Beijing firing back at $60 billion worth of USA goods.

Separately, Mnuchin told CNBC in a televised interview on Friday that Trump would go through with plans to meet Xi "if it looks like we can make positive direction", adding that there was no set deadline for trade talks with China.

"The way the USA has structured the tariffs encourages frontloading because firms that know they're going to hit with tariffs would rather pay 10 percent than 25 percent", he said.

But as USA interest rates have risen, the USA dollar has strengthened further, which makes American exports more expensive.

He blamed previous USA presidents for allowing China to pursue unfair trade practices and said he had to tell Beijing, "It's over". That prompted suggestions Beijing might weaken the exchange rate to help exporters, but that might hurt China's economy by encouraging an outflow of capital. The central bank has tightened controls on currency trading to prevent further declines.

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