United States envoys due in Beijing for trade talks, China says

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White House Council of Economic Advisers chairman Kevin Hassett said in an interview with CNN's Poppy Harlow on Thursday that "a heck of a lot" of United States companies will have the same problem unless a deal is struck to lift tariffs imposed by both sides past year.

The talks are going ahead despite tension over the arrest of a Chinese tech executive - Huawei's chief financial officer, Meng Wanzhou - in Canada on USA charges related to possible violations of trade sanctions on Iran.

The U.S. and Chinese governments both have expressed interest in a trade settlement but give no indication their stances have shifted.

Trump has slapped import tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars of Chinese goods as he seeks concessions from Beijing on issues ranging from industrial subsidies to hacking, sparking retaliation by China.

Hassett added Thursday, noting that he was a "globalist" before joining the Trump administration: "If we have a successful negotiation with China, then Apple's sales and everybody else's sales will recover". 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. "Another is that, according to USA customs data, it is not just the United States products that China imposed its retaliatory tariffs on that have seen weakening export growth to China, but U.S. exports to China have seen some softening across the board".

Chinese economic growth fell to a post-global crisis of 6.5 percent in the quarter ending in September.

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Data this week pointed to signs of strain in the USA and China at the end of past year.

"There are certainly compelling reasons for both sides to reach a deal and avoid further tariff increases", said Cutler, now vice-president at the Asia Society Policy Institute.

He said slowing consumer demand in China gives Trump an edge in ongoing trade negotiations.

Do you think the US and China will reach a trade agreement before March 1?

The U.S. economy remains strong, with the country's 3.7 percent jobless rate at a almost five-decade low. "I think they sort of have to". Vice-ministers from the two countries talked on the phone yesterday, and will discuss how to implement the consensus reached in Argentina when the two leaders meet in Beijing, it said. It said the threat of US tariff hikes was the "dominating factor" for almost half, while others moved due to higher costs or tighter environmental regulation. Yet those very pressures, analysts say, give the two countries a stronger incentive to make peace. In October the International Monetary Fund cut its 2019 global growth forecast to 3.7 percent, citing the trade war, and in December Citi trimmed its prediction to 3.1 percent.

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